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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), affiliated to the World Bank, has started discussions with companies interested in investing in Iran, but it could take between six and nine months to materialize.
“It’s definitely a country with a huge amount of potential and I think we’ll see a huge program,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, the Mena director at IFC, adding that investment could come next year, the UAE’s National quoted him as saying on Sunday.
“We need to make sure we’re investing with the right people.” One area that will be a prime opportunity is the power sector.
Iran has a power generation capacity of 74 gigawatts, while electricity demand is growing at 6% annually, according to Anup Barapatre, the energy and environment programme manager at Frost & Sullivan.
Frost & Sullivan said that the government was looking to increase its power generation capacity to 120GW over the next decade. To reach this target, the government is looking to acquire new investments spanning from technology, engineering and skills transfer that would total more than US$60 billion.
The IFC expects about 30% of its funding in the Mena region to centre on alleviating climate change, which includes renewable energy investments and sustainable energy financing.
Most of the electricity generated in the country is through oil and gas, but renewable energy applications are beginning to raise their heads.
In December, the managing director of Iran Power Generation Transmission and Distribution Management Company, Arash Kordi, said that the country would add between 500 megawatts and 1,000MW annually of renewable energy power generation to the grid.
“I see [opportunities in] both wind and solar equally,” said David Corchia, the chairman of Eren Developpement, a renewable energy project developer based in Paris.