Alexander Sharov: it is necessary to build relations with Iranian companies correctly
On October 6, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Moscow and Tehran have agreed to organize a meeting between the two countries' presidents, Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi. According to the Minister, Russia occupies a priority place in Iran's foreign policy, and soon it will be possible to see the development of bilateral relations in all directions.
What is the current state of the partnership between Russia and Iran in the energy sector, and what are the possible points of contact between the two countries' interests? The TEKFACE portal talked about this with the Director of the RusIranExpo Group of Companies, Alexander Sharov.
- Mr Sharov, what is the current state of Iran's energy complex after a long period of sanctions? Does it need radical modernization to maintain and increase the production of hydrocarbons and the production of other energy resources?
- Iran's energy complex is currently in a waiting state. The already heavily worn-out equipment is being operated. In the previous decades, very little was invested in the renewal of assets and even more so in the construction of new facilities. There were small projects implemented by Chinese companies or some very disguised offshoots of European corporations. In particular, there is still not only a Siemens office in Tehran but also a joint plant for the production of gas turbines for thermal power plants, although the company claims that it does not work in Iran. That is, the presence of Europeans in Iran is visible.
Iran has a serious need to maintain the operation of existing equipment in petrochemistry, production of building materials, mining enterprises, metallurgical plants. Updating, modernization and improvement of energy efficiency of this equipment are required.
As for Russian companies in Iran, the first block of the Bushehr NPP is already in operation, its timely repair is being carried out, and localization of the production of components in Iran is required. The second and third blocks are also being constructed. Many workers and equipment were involved in the work. The equipment is imported by ships through the Persian Gulf, but the volume of deliveries is still relatively small. At the same time, there is a significant delay in payments from Iran because Tehran transferred money through Japanese banks and hoped that these funds would not be blocked there. But still, they were blocked, and now Iran is looking for additional resources to pay off its debt to Rosatom.
Other facilities planned to be created by joint efforts of Russia and Iran are two power plants under long-standing intergovernmental agreements. But construction work is not underway there yet. Some preparatory work has been carried out, but there are no applications for equipment supply yet. Perhaps project work is being carried out.