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Iraq's Power Grid Boosted by $328mn Deal With GE

Iraq agrees $328.8mn deal with GE that boosts electricity production by 1,000 megawatts.

Electricity Ministry spokesperson says Iraq has established an agreement with General Electric to commit $328.8mn to increase electricity production in Iraq to 1,000 megawatts (MW).

This partnership will stabilise Iraq's neglected electrical grid which has suffered due to wars and sanctions despite Iraq's position as major OPEC oil producer.  

Thousands of Iraqis have held demonstrations last year and called for the government to improve the supply of their essential services such as drinking water and electricity. 

Ministry Spokesman Musab al-Mudaris told Reuters GE will provide services and equipment for 10 power plants in Iraq. 

Mudaris also cites that since the Electricity Ministry's 2016 budget was cut by half to 1.185 trillion Iraqi dinars ($1 billion), GE will get paid in installments over 3 years starting in 2017.

As Iraq fights to suppress Islamic State Militants, they are expected to have a budget deficit of 24tn dinars as they deal with lower international oil prices. 

"We asked the government to increase the ministry's investment budget for 2016 because, with the current austerity measures, the country's power grid could collapse," Mudaris said.

Electricity supply in Iraq, however, must become stable and consistent. For example, consumption in the summer is around 21,000MW when Iraqis regularly use  air conditioning units to ease the 50 degree heat, whereas the grid only provides 13,000 MW.

Mudaris assures that conditional terms outline that GE must complete procurement and servicing of the power plants by the first week of July. 






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