By Kamila Aliyeva
Energy-rich Turkmenistan intends to export electricity to the Caucasus countries through the Iranian territory, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported.
To increase electricity export volumes, the Central Asian country plans to construct high-voltage transmission lines Mary-Sarakhs-Mashhad (Iran) and Balkanabat-Gonbad (Iran).
The commissioning of these lines will enable to increase the export of electricity to Iran, as well as to transmit it through the Iranian energy system to Turkey and other countries of the Caucasus region, according to the article.
There are also plans to build a power line along the route of the transnational Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, also known as Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, which has been building since December 2015.
In future, supplies to Tajikistan and Pakistan and expansion of exports to Afghanistan are envisaged.
The electricity production in Turkmenistan by 2020 will amount to more than 26 billion kwh, while its export will reach almost 6.1 billion kwh, and investments in the development of the industry will exceed $5 billion, the article says.
Currently, the power system of Turkmenistan includes 13 power plants with a total installed capacity of 5,432 megawatts, on which 14 steam turbine and 32 gas turbine units operate, as well as 3 hydroturbines at the Hindukush hydroelectric power station.
All thermal power plants operate on natural gas from the nearest gas fields of the country, and fuel oil and diesel fuel of oil refineries are used as reserve fuels.
By the end of 2016, Turkmenistan produced more than 24 billion kwh of electricity, which is 5 percent higher than in 2015.
Turkmenistan is investing into electric power industry as this may allow the country to increase its export potential. This is also a part of the country’s general policy of diversifying its energy export routes in the region.
The concept of development of power industry of Turkmenistan for 2013-2020 envisages the construction of 14 gas turbine power plants, power transmission systems, and distribution stations.
Currently, Turkmenistan supplies electricity to Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan that has been buying it at a reduced price for the past twenty years.