Iraqi electricity ministry announced on Sunday it has signed a contract to buy 250 megawatts of electricity per day from UAE’s Oilfield Services in order to reduce power outages during sweltering summer.
Iraq has witnessed chronic power shortages since the toppling of Saddam Hussein and subsequent occupation in April 2003. Summer-time temperatures soar up to 50 degrees Celsius and power cuts can range up to 20 hours a day during peak demand.
Baghdad explained the two-year contract was based on a price of 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The two power plants, which will be docked on ships and connected to the national grid, are expected to reach Umme Qasr port within a few weeks. The grid will start receiving power by 31 July, the ministry said.
The statement also acknowledged that three Turkish ships are already docked at the port near Basra, and supplying 270 MW per day to the national grid.
The country’s demand for electricity peaked at 15,000 MW last year, while it produced only less than half of that.
Salam Qazaz, a deputy electricity minister, recently said Iraq is working to boost the national grid’s capacity by about 1,500 MW in the next few months.