Iran’s top energy and engineering company MAPNA has been invited by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to start large-scale projects in the country.
MAPNA’s CEO Abbas Aliabadi said on Monday that Maduro had invited engineers and experts from the company to attend talks within the next 15 days in his office in Caracas to discuss major energy projects, including the construction of power plants in the South American country.
Aliabadi said the invitation was made after Maduro visited MAPNA facilities in Tehran during an official visit to the Iranian capital last week.
He said Venezuela has also expressed willingness to award contracts to MAPNA for supply of equipment needed in its petroleum and railway sectors.
Iran and Venezuela have developed close economic and political ties in recent years as they seek to counter American sanctions targeting their energy sectors. The two countries signed a 20-year plan for economic cooperation during Maduro’s visit to Iran.
Aliabadi said Venezuela can become a major market for Iranian engineering companies because of a pent-up demand for construction of electricity stations in the country.
“With a population of 28 million people, Venezuela has only 12,000 megawatts of power plants and this is a very suitable market for Iranian companies to execute numerous projects there,” he was quoted as saying by the IRIB News.
During Maduro’s visit to Tehran, Venezuela took delivery of a second aframax-size oil tanker manufactured by Iran’s Sadra shipbuilding company under a contract signed between Iran and Venezuela more than a decade ago.
Iranian media reports said Sadra will deliver two more such tankers, with a price tag of over $60 million for each tanker, to Venezuela within the next years.