Azerbaijan and Iran have marked the 50th anniversary of Aras and Mil-Mugan dams operation with a commemoration ceremony, according to Azerbaijani Energy Ministry’s press service.
At the 31 May ceremony, Iran’s Energy Minister’s Deputy for Water and Wastewater, Qasem Taqizadeh Khamesi, commended the Aras and Mil-Mugan dams operation as being a symbol of the increasing interstate cooperation and friendship relation between the two countries.
''On the example of new projects implemented on the territory of the Aras and Mil-Mugan dams, Aras HPP and Aras River, it is safe to say that Azerbaijan and Iran are countries that constantly turn the border between themselves into an opportunity for joint cooperation,” Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov noted.
The 50-year-old transboundary water operation has largely served the socio-economic interests of both countries. The Aras dam, which was commissioned in 1971, has a volume of 1 billion 350 million cubic meters, whereas the Aras HPP and Mil-Mugan dam facilitates the irrigation of 400,000 hectares of land across the two countries.
Shahbazov announced that cooperation regarding the shared use of water and energy resources from the Aras River have entered into the next stages: “'New geopolitical realities and a safe development environment that have developed in the region with the liberation of Azerbaijani lands from occupation and the restoration of historical borders have already removed obstacles to the implementation of these projects”.
Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister went on to explain that the Khudaferin and 'Giz Galasi' hydroelectric power stations will be built with a capacity of 200 MW and 80 MW, respectively, allowing 716 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to be produced annually.
Referring to the budding relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan, Iran’s Eastern Azerbaijan province Mohammad Reza Pour Mohammadi added: “Considering the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the agreement on the establishment of sustainable peace in the region, a good opportunity has been created for the cooperation of all countries in the region. We are ready for any cooperation with Azerbaijan”.