Under the agreement, the Bank of Industry and Mining will act as guarantor on behalf of the Iranian government.

The project will be implemented by China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), with Mapna, Iran, acting as subcontractor.

According to the Iranian government, the Chinese government is providing low-interest loans to cover two-thirds of the cost of the $US 2.56bn project, with China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) covering the remainder.