FARS News Agency cited Iranian Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian as saying in a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak that preparation work is underway for the expansion of energy cooperation with Russia.

Chitchian said: "The grounds for cooperation between Iran and Russia for constructing thermal power plants worth over $10bln are provided and we have planned for partnership in building 8 new thermal power plants with the capacity of (generating) 2,800MW (of electricity).

"Four units of these power plants will be built in Bandar Abbas city, two units in Tabas city and two units in the new city of Sahand, and the construction of two power plants in Tabriz city is still in the stage of environmental studies."

The power plants, which can generate 3,000MW of electricity, will be built as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Iran and Russia earlier in August to improve economic cooperation.

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Ali Majedi said that the allies are likely to sign an agreement to strengthen economic cooperation.

Majedi said: "There are no restrictions for Iran in cooperating with Russia in different economic sectors."