Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister for Electricity Mohammad Behzad said the power station would become operational within four years after the opening of the letter of credit.

Earlier, Behzad said the power plant in Tabas would be built at a cost of $1bn and generate 650MW of electricity when it becomes operational.

The project is likely to be kicked off by the end of Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2015) of the country.

Building coal-fired power stations will cut down the gas consumption during winter and also create jobs in coal-rich regions such as Tabas, according to Iran Daily.

Behzad said the power plant in the city of Zarand in Kerman Province operates with coal dust. It was built in 1973 near a coal-cleaning factory.

Coal’s major share in securing the fuel required by power generating stations indicates its significance compared with other fuels.

The country would be able to diversify its energy basket using coal for power generation. Meanwhile, liquid fuel and natural gas could be used for producing electricity for exports.