Iraq’s electricity ministry has revealed the country’s plans to boost its power capacity with an additional 3 gigawatts (GW).
Iraq will “soon” add an additional 3,000 megawatts of power to the electricity grid as it seeks to decrease dependence on imported Iranian gas, the ministry said on Friday.
Ahmad Musa Al Abadi, Electricity Ministry spokesman, said on Friday that they are “working to introduce approximately 3,000 new megawatts to the system through production units and stations that will enter work soon, and will be among the preparations for the new year."
The comments come a day after the United States extended a sanctions waiver on Iraq to continue importing gas from neighbouring Iran that is crucial to keeping lights on in power scares Iraq.
“The US administration sees the exemption as an opportunity for Iraq to work on rehabilitating the gas fields and to ensure a fuel plan to operate the production stations,” said Al Abadi.
Mr Al Abadi said that the ministry was working to diversify power generation and is proceeding with plans to connect the national grid with neighbouring states.
The majority of Iraq’s domestic power production is generated by plants built in the 1970s and 1980s with a few newer gas-powered stations built after 2003.
Last year, Iraq signed a deal to connect its power network with GCC states in order to import 500 megawatts of power by 2020.
A 300-kilometre power line will run from Kuwait to Iraq’s southern port of Faw and be financed by the GCC, the Iraqi Electricity Ministry said at the time.
Iraq is faced with a legacy of poor service provision caused by massive corruption and ineffectual governance since 2003.
Around 31 per cent of the gas used to generate power in Iraq is imported from Iran. The new waiver will last 60 days.