We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 24 Dec 2008 03:28 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Iraq says power grid not fully restored until 2011

Minister's prediction made as country opens $118mn Japanese-built Samawa plant.

Iraq's power grid is not expected to be fully restored until 2011 - eight years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein - the electricity ministry said on Tuesday.

"Citizens will (by 2011) have electricity for 24 hours a day with no cuts," minister Karim Wahid was quoted as saying in a report issued a day after Japan opened its $118 million Samawa plant in the southern Muthanna province.

The country's power installations were bombed, looted and sabotaged during and after the 2003 invasion, leaving many residents with as little as four hours of electricity a day.

The electricity shortfall forced many Iraqis to buy their own generators in 2004, and by 2006 many people had banded together and subscribed to large collective generators run by entrepreneurs.

Wahid said residents currently receive about 10 hours of state-produced power per day.

In the face of long unfulfilled American promises that the supply of electricity would be properly restored, Baghdad residents still largely rely on privately run generators to power their homes in a city of six million people.

Foreign firms have been called in to help rebuild the power grid and in mid-December US conglomerate General Electric signed a $3 billion power generation contract with Baghdad.

Under the agreement, GE Energy, which has been a major player in the violence-ravaged country, will provide multi-fuel gas turbines capable of supplying 7,000 megawatts of electricity.

Meanwhile, German engineering giant Siemens signed a $2 billion deal on Dec. 21 in Baghdad to provide 3,200 megawatts of power to five regions of Iraq.

Roland Fischer, chief of the group's business products unit, told newswire AFP on Tuesday that construction will begin in 2009 and finish by the spring of the following year.

Iraq's daily power generation now averages less than 6,000 megawatts, while demand is typically more than 10,000 megawatts, according to GE.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.