TEHRAN–Iran will start exporting natural gas to Armenia next week through a recently constructed pipeline, according to the Director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company, Seyyed Reza Kasaiizadeh, the Tehran Times reported on Monday.
Kasaiizadeh on Monday said he would be leaving for Armenia immediately at the head of a delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline, which was completed last December. “Armenia has expressed its readiness to receive Iranian gas and one of the main goals of the trip is to finalize the export of gas to Armenia,” he said.
Thus far the pipeline had remained inactive, with Armenian leaders saying there was yet no need to active it. The bulk of the Iranian gas that will begin flowing to Armenia is to be converted into electricity at local thermal-power plants that would then be exported back to the Islamic Republic.
Kasaiizadeh said the pipeline has a diameter of 30 inches and runs for 113 kilometers from Iranian Tabriz to the Iran-Armenia border. He added that the volume of gas exports could rise to 4 million cubic meters a day in 2011 and to 6.3 million cubic meters a day afterwards.
The news comes a month after Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian visited Tehran for two days of negotiations that ended with the signing of eight agreements emphasizing the two countries’ commitments to further deepening their relations with more multimillion-dollar infrastructure, transport, and energy projects.