Turkish company signs $4.2 bn Iranian nat gas deal

Jun 06, 2016 12:00 AM

A Turkish company has agreed to a $4.2 billion deal to build seven natural gas plants in Iran as the host country recovers from a severe recession caused by international sanctions.

Unit International, the firm responsible for the deal, released a statement on Sunday specifying that the new facilities would have an installed capacity of 6,020 megawatts and meet 10 percent of Iran’s energy needs.

The two parties signed the agreement during a ceremony on 1 June. The company will begin construction in the first quarter of 2017, according to Reuters.

In March, former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu made a visit to Iran, during which he announced that the two countries planned to raise the volume of their trade to a historic $30 billion.

Pre-sanction Turkish-Iranian trade levels stood at $22.4 billion in 2014, but buckled to $9 billion the following year as restrictions became more severe.

Iran represents the Middle East’s biggest electricity producer at 75,000 megawatt-hours a year. Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian plans to raise this figure to more than 120,000 MWH over the course of the next decade.

Iran holds the world’s fourth-largest oil and second-largest natural gas reserves; the latter is slated to be in high demand in the coming decades as the 195 countries—including Iran—begin increasing their use of environmentally friendly fuels in accordance with the Paris climate change agreement.

International sanctions against the Islamic Republic had isolated its economy from the global energy community, but since the nuclear deal was signed earlier this year, Iran has begun to make an economic comeback.

Turkey, Russia and India, among other states, have resumed trade and investment in the nation to the tune of 78 million, but the recovery has been less than breathtaking. The country’s leaders have criticized the American foreign policy leadership for not doing enough to encourage the international community to return to Iran.

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