TEHRAN - The Iranian government has decided to significantly reduce electricity supplies to industries as it struggles to minimize power outages in large cities during the current summer heat wave.
Iran’s Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri issued a decree allowing the Energy Ministry to impose a cap on electricity consumption by major industries.
“The Energy Minister is allowed from tonight to prohibit industries from using more than 10% (of their normal consumption) and any breach will with be dealt by the required action,” Jahangiri was quoted as saying by semi-official ILNA news agency.
The remarks were made after Jahangiri paid a visit to a newly-launched national center for electricity dispatching. It came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered his apology to the people for recurrent power cuts seen in cities in recent days.
Iran’s state electricity company Tavanir issued a decree later in the day warning steelmakers and cement factories to reduce their electricity consumption to 10% of their normal usage.
Tavanir chief Muhammad Hassan Motavalizadeh said power cuts will be implemented in a handful of large manufacturing units where electricity consumption is high.
Authorities have blamed power cuts in recent days mainly on higher-than-expected demand for electricity, especially by illegal cryptocurrency miners, as well as on a heat wave and a drought that has caused the country to lose much of its hydroelectric capacity.
Energy Ministry authorities on Tuesday launched a coal mine in northeastern Iran that will provide fuel supplies to a power plant that is expected to come on line in the city of Tabas by 2024.
It was said during the inauguration ceremony of the mine that Iran will seek to diversify its fuel resources used for electricity generation by launching 5,000 megawatts of coal-fired power plants by 2041.