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Iran issuing US$240 million in bonds for hydropower improvement

TEHRAN, Iran 1/6/12 (PennWell) -- Iran's Energy Ministry has issued 2.7 trillion rials (US$240 million) in bonds for financing hydroelectric projects across the country, the Iranian Students News Agency reports.

The 17% profit bonds were offered to the public beginning Dec. 31 at Sepah Bank branches throughout Iran, according to ISNA.

Iran exported more than 5,330 GWh of electricity to Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq this past year -- a figure that represents a 23% increase from the previous year and one that could account for $1 billion in exports by the end of 2012.

The bonds are part of Iran's fifth national development plan that, by its completion in 2015, could boost the country's electrical generation capacity to 25,000 MW, according to Energy Minister Majid Namjou.

The country announced in March 2011 that it has entered into a deal with China for the construction of Bakhtiari Dam in Iran. Reports indicate the $1.5 billion, 315-meter high hydropower project will produce 1,500-MW of electric when completed.

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