Iran signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Russian Company Technopromexport for implementing the 1,400-MW power plant project in August 2016, and the Russian side pledged to invest up to €1.2 billion in the project, IRNA reported.
The construction of the thermal power plant started in February 2017, however, it came to a halt due to some administrative and funding problems from the Russian side.
“[After years of postponement] eventually, the Russian side came to the conclusion that the contractor [for the project] should be replaced. On this basis, a new contractor was selected, which is also approved by our country,” Ardakanian told IRNA.
Ardakanian noted that the credit line for this project is expected to be opened in the coming weeks and the new contractor will hopefully start the project’s executive operations.
Once fully operational, the Sirik project would add some 12 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power to Iran’s current production capacity.
The project has been described as a symbol of Russia’s growing inclination to invest in Iran at a time the United States is piling massive economic pressure on the country.
Russia has committed to other infrastructure projects in Iran worth nearly $5 billion.
In December 2019, Ardakanian said that Russia’s development projects in Iran, which include a key railway southeast of the country, as well as the mentioned power plant, would start in the current Iranian year (started March 20) after clearing administrative barriers for the transfer of funds and other issues.