By Elsa Baxter
French firm signs MoU for 1,200MW plant to be build between Najaf and Basra.
Iraq and Alstom have signed a memorandum of understanding for the French energy infrastructure firm to build a power plant in southern Iraq.
The company will also restore an existing power plant that it built in Najaf 35 years ago, the news agency AFP reports.
Alstom will build the 1,200-megawatt power station between Najaf and Basra – an area which suffers a severe electricity shortfall.
Under the agreement the company will also train Iraqi engineers and technicians, according to the report.
The new plant deal is predicted to cost between $1.5bn and $2bn, sources with knowledge of the agreement were quoted as saying.
"We hope to build up the electricity sector in Iraq which has been badly damaged in recent years and meet the country's growing electricity needs," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, said in a statement.