Iran plans to build a new nuclear power plant, the country’s energy minister said on Saturday.

The new plant will have the capacity to produce 360 megawatt of electricity per hour, Hamid Chitchian said in a televised interview,  Mehr News Agency reported.

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He went on to note that Iran’s Bushehr power plant currently produces about 1,000 megawatt of electricity per hour.

“Atomic Energy Organization of Iran carries out preliminary studies for construction of 20 nuclear power plants,” Chitchian said.

“Iran was the first owner of a nuclear power plant in the Middle East,” he added.

Iran is the world’s 14th country for power production capacity, Chitchian said on September 15.

“Tehran’s electricity production capacity is over 70,000 megawatt per hour,” Hamid Chitchian said, IRIB News Agency reported.

He went on to note that based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic ‎Development Plan ‎‎(to end March ‎‎2016) the country should increase its electricity production capacity by 5,000 megawatt per hour in order to keep up with the rising consumption rate.

Iran is the biggest electricity producer in the Middle East, Deputy Energy Minister Mohammad Behzad said on July 5.

Behzad said in June that Iran has constructed power plants twice as many as the average number of power plants which have been constructed in the world during the past decade.

The power generation capacity in Iran has grown by 7 per cent annually during the past 10 years, he said, adding that the figure has averaged 3.5 percent in the world.

Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq.

Iran seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than $1.1 billion investments for construction of three new power plants.