Iran opened a large dam in its southwest to help boost agriculture and manufacturing output in the region.
The Chamshir Dam went on stream on Monday in an inauguration ceremony attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and senior members of his Cabinet.
Chamshir, located in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, is the fifth largest dam in Iran with a 50-square-kilometer reservoir that can hold up to 2.3 billion cubic meters of water when it is full.
The dam is also the tallest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the West Asian region with a crest that is 680 meters high. It has a hydroelectric power plan that generates 176 megawatts of electricity, Press TV reported.
Statements by authorities suggested the government had spent 230 million euros from its assets in China to build the dam in addition to domestic budgets it had earmarked to the project.
Iranian Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian, for his part, said the dam would contribute to the expansion of agriculture and manufacturing in three provinces in southwest Iran.
He said Chamshir’s water will be used for irrigation of 70,000 hectares of agricultural lands in a region where farming used to suffer from damage caused by seasonal floods.
Iran’s Energy Ministry allowed filling the dam with water in January after it persuaded environmental advocacy groups that the structure will not affect the ecosystem in the region.
Iran has built many key infrastructure projects in recent years despite being under the economic pressure of American sanctions.
The projects have helped boost agriculture and manufacturing at a time the country sells lower amount of oil because of the sanctions.