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Iraq signs $4bn deals to boost power supply

Two deals worth $4 bln was signed to increase power supply in Iraq, with an emergency plan to provide 16 hours power/day

April 8, 2011 12:09 by

Iraq said on Thursday it had signed two deals worth almost $4 billion to build emergency power stations across the country to help double electricity supply to 16 hours a day by next summer.

Eight years since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqis still only have power for a few hours a day, one of the main sources of public discontent towards the authorities who have failed to tackle the problem despite windfall oil revenues.

Iraq needs more than 15,000 megawatts to meet peak summer demand. Its supply this summer is projected to be just 7,000 megawatts, enough to supply just eight hours of power a day, the electricity minister said last month.

Laith al-Mamury, head of investments and contracts at the electricity ministry, said Iraq had now signed a $3.2 billion deal with a South Korean company to build 25 power stations with a total capacity of 2,500 MW in different parts of Iraq.

He said the ministry had also signed a $762 million contract with Jordanian company Elite to build several power stations with a total capacity of 600 MW.

The ministry will also sign two more contracts in the next few days to build power stations with a total capacity of 1,900 MW, Mamury said.

The ministry of electricity’s emergency plan calls for 50 mini-power stations — producing about 100 MW each — around the country to help provide an interim solution while long-term power projects get underway.

Electricity Minister Raad Shallal said last month the total cost of the emergency plan would be around $6 billion.

The emergency generators will allow the country’s grid to supply 16 hours a day of power in the summer of 2012.

The South Korean company will buy the equipment for the plants from other South Korean companies including LS Industrial Systems and Hyosung Corp, Mamury said.

(Writing by Aseel Kami; Editing by Caroline Drees)

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