Switzerland’s ABB has been awarded an estimated $30m contract to build four new transmission and distribution substations in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

ABB was awarded the deal by the local Zagros Energy to build the facilities, which are part of an overall programme to expand the regional power grid.

The substations will enable the transfer of an additional 600MW of power. Two of the substations will be connected with 132kV underground cables due to the lack of overhead space. The project is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Demand for power in the Kurdistan region has grown at an average rate of 15 per cent annually for the past three years and this rate of growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. As part of the region’s power upgradation plans, Mass Global Holdings is converting its three power plants in Kurdistan from simple-cycle to combined-cycle, which will improve efficiency and boost capacity by 1,500MW.