Renewables, Water, Energy Efficiency: President Explains MAPNA Group’s New Priorities

MAPNA Group President Mohammad Owliya says the conglomerate is prioritizing renewable energies, the water industry, and energy efficiency by introducing changes in its structure. 

He made the remarks while responding to a number of reporters’ questions on the sidelines of the 19th Iran International Exhibition of Water and Wastewater and the 13th Iran International Exhibition of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency that was held at the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds on January 22-25, 2024.

MAPNA Group has undergone “structural changes” in order to focus on growth in a host of business sectors, he said, adding, “Particularly, the group has prioritized renewables, energy efficiency, and the water industry in its reform efforts.”

While MAPNA Group’s older businesses, such as gas and combined cycle power plants, have experienced significant growth in recent years, the energy industry is shifting towards reducing reliance on fossil fuels and embracing renewable sources, and therefore, the group recognizes the need to accelerate their efforts in these areas, he said.

In terms of renewables, MAPNA Group has been involved in wind and solar power projects in the past decade, he said, noting that the conglomerate has developed wind farms and its needed equipment, both through its own investment and for other customers while also constructing a 2-MW solar farm in Kahak.

Currently, MAPNA Group is constructing Iran’s “largest” solar power plant in collaboration with Mobarakeh Steel Company, he said. “The contract involves building a 600-MW power plant, which is a substantial undertaking.”

He said that the project is progressing with the construction of centralized facilities and solar cell equipment, putting the project’s progress percentage at 20%.

Compared to wind power plants, solar power plants are generally less complex and can be operational in a shorter timeframe, Owliya said, adding that MAPNA Group has entered into partnerships with foreign investors and technology owners to enhance their internal construction capabilities for solar equipment.

The technology advancements in solar panels are occurring rapidly, leading to significant price reductions, he said.

While most panels are imported, a small portion is produced by MAPNA in Mashhad, said Owliya, noting that however, it is not economically feasible to produce all the required components domestically. “To stay up-to-date and maintain economic production, it is necessary for companies in the country to have foreign partnerships; manufacturing equipment like structures, trackers, and inverters domestically is more economically viable, and MAPNA Group and MECO [MAPNA Electric & Control Engineering & Manufacturing Company] are currently involved in producing such equipment.”

MAPNA Group aims to be a “significant player” in the renewable energy, water industry, and energy efficiency sectors, stress the conglomerate’s head.

The degree to which MAPNA Group is involved in manufacturing equipment in these areas depends on the competitive environment worldwide, he said, noting, “We will focus on areas where we have a competitive advantage.”

MAPNA Group activities in water sector

Referring to MAPNA Group’s improved activity 19th Iran International Exhibition of Water and Wastewater, Owliya said the conglomerate has a “decade of experience” in the water sector. 

“Our first water project was Qeshm Power and Water Cogeneration project which began approximately 10 years ago,” he said, noting that the developed units use thermal methods to generate 18,000 cubic meters of fresh water per day. “This project has significantly contributed to the water supply for Qeshm villages.”

Another project on the island, adjacent to the Qeshm power plant, is being jointly carried out by MAPNA and a partner, he said.

Additionally, the Lian desalination project in Bushehr, which utilizes reverse osmosis (RO), has entered its initial operational phase, with the remaining work expected to be completed by the end of the year, Owliya said.

MAPNA is also participating in a tender for the supply of 2 or 3 desalination plants, each with a capacity of 200 thousand cubic meters, specifically for industrial use, revealed the president.

Meanwhile, MAPNA Group also won a tender for water transmission facilities in the eastern region of the country, he added.

MAPNA’s notable project in the water treatment sector is the construction of a sewage treatment plant of Esfahan Steel Company, he said, adding, “I recently visited the site and observed its impressive scope. Esfahan Steel Company plans to utilize the sewage from the cities of Fuladshahr and Zarinshahr to meet its fresh water needs. This project holds significant environmental importance and aims to produce an output of 800 cubic meters per hour.”

Owliya said the conglomerate does not have any water projects in Tehran for now, however, “our growth in the water industry sector positions us to actively participate in future tenders,” hoping to implement projects that cater to the needs of the Iranian capital.

MAPNA to add 700 MW renewable energy to Iran’s grid

Asked about the conglomerate’s contribution to renewable energy development in Iran, Owliya said, “The renewable energy projects are expected to reach around 700 MW, which is just a fraction of the larger target we hope to achieve in the next two years.”

“We have made structural changes to better support government policies and increase our involvement in solar and wind power plants. The 700 MW capacity I mentioned is for finalized contracts. Additionally, we have plans for 650 MW in two countries, which we anticipate will be finalized soon,” he further revealed.

Using hydrogen as fuel 

Owliya said that hydrogen is a “crucial” factor for the “future of global energy supply”. He also pointed out that hydrogen is not found naturally and needs energy to produce it, which is one of its drawbacks.

Hydrogen can be a “valuable alternative to fossil fuels”, he said, adding, “We are closely following global trends, and our gas-fueled power plant equipment is being modified to incorporate hydrogen usage; we have already made modifications to two turbines and one boiler for this purpose.”

EV charger stations 

Asked about MAPNA Group’s involvement in the electric vehicle industry, Owliya said that the conglomerate has been involved in this secrot in the past decade.

“We have produced traction motors and completed a few commercial contracts for cars and buses, however, we believe there is greater opportunity for MAPNA in the area of infrastructure and charging stations because we are not a car manufacturer but rather a supplier to car manufacturers.”

“We have a strong advantage in the charger and charging station sector and we have made significant progress in terms of technology,” he said, noting that the contract with Tehran municipality has been “successful” with the first phase being completed, and the remaining equipment being under construction.

Scroll to Top