MOSCOW, Feb. 2 (Sputnik) - The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami, announced the start of construction of a new nuclear power plant (NPP), which is in line with the country's initiative to upgrade nuclear energy generative capacity to 20,000 megawatts, Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported on Thursday.

The Iran-Hormoz NPP with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts, will be built in Sirik city, located in the southern coastal province of Hormozgan, Eslami was cited as saying.

The project was given the green light by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi along with 157 other initiatives in the field of industry and energy.

Russia is currently building the second power unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant — the largest joint Russian-Iranian project — which is located in southeastern Iran along the Persian Gulf coast.

The first NPP unit, completed in cooperation with Russia, was connected to Iran's national power grid in September 2011, while a contract for the construction of the third power unit has already been signed.

Photo from AFP