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Iran building major power plant in Syria’s Latakia: Minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This October 2, 2018 photo by Iran’s engineering group Mapna shows authorities form Iran and Syria exchanging documents on the signing of a deal for construction of a power plant in Syria’s Latakia.

Iran’s energy minister says a private Iranian contractor has started construction for a major power plant in Syria’s Latakia.

Reza Ardakanian said on Wednesday that construction for the gas-fired combined-cycle power plant is backed by the governments in Iran and Syria.

“This project is being executed through joint investment,” said Ardakanian of the power plant which is expected to have a capacity of 540 megawatts once finished.

Latakia, a key port city on the Mediterranean, has been less affected by years of war in Syria.

However, Damascus wants the city to become a model for reconstruction in other regions as the country is emerging from years of militancy and trying to rebuild the country devastated by the war.

Ardakanian called on Iranian companies to get involved in Syria’s plans for development in the electricity sector, saying that other countries are becoming increasingly interested in reconstruction plans in the Arab country.

The deal for construction of Latakia power plant was finalized in October 2018 when the Mapna group, the largest energy construction company in Iran, signed an agreement with Syrian authorities to build the power plant and the gas pipeline that feeds it.

Syria authorities have also asked for Iran’s contribution to repair operations at a thermal power plant in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, while plans are in place to build a gas-fired power plant in the same city by Iranian companies.

A first phase of the Latakia power plant, a gas-fired unit, will come online in 18 months, according to a plan by Mapna which says another gas unit and a steam unit will take 24 and 34 months, respectively, to finish.

As part of the project, Mapna has committed to building a 70-kilometer pipeline to link Syria’s “own gas resources” to the power plant in Latakia.

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