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Sat 7 Apr 2007 12:00 AM

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$124 million credit plan for Basra power station

The World Bank has approved US $124 million (IQD157 billion) in credit for an electricity reconstruction project in Iraq.

The World Bank has approved US $124 million (IQD157 billion) in credit for an electricity reconstruction project in Iraq.

The project aims to increase generating capacity at the Hartha power station in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, the World Bank said in a statement.

"The project will double the output of the Hartha power station from 400MW to 800MW, providing additional generating capacity to the national grid and benefiting household and industrial consumers," the statement said.

"The project will also help lay the groundwork for improved power system planning by building the capacity of the Ministry of Electricity to prepare, implement, and operate current and future projects."

The total cost of the project has been valued at $150 million.

The bank approved an additional $6 million from a donor fund administered by the World Bank and the Iraqi government is contributing $20 million, the statement said.

This is the second power rehabilitation project in Iraq to be funded by the World Bank.

The lender approved $40 million in credit in December 2006 for the repair of two hydroelectric power stations in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

Despite the relatively large resources channelled by the US and Japan for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq's electricity sector, current power supply only meets about 50% of the demand.

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