Iraq’s Electricity Ministry has awarded Turkey’s Enka Teknik a $236m contract to build a 500MW power plant at Najebia in Basra governorate.

Enka Teknik, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enka construction, will build the project on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

The power plant will use four GE9E gas turbines supplied by the US’ GE, which were bought by Iraq as part of a turbine megadeal signed in December 2009.

Heavy fuel oil will be the primary fuel for the project, with light fuel oil and natural gas as a back-up. The plant is scheduled to enter operation in the third quarter of 2013.

Iraq’s Electricity Ministry has signed several EPC deals with contractors over the past five years. Some contractors have complained that they have not received payments on time, or at all. “This is always a concern to an EPC contractor,” an Enka representative told MEED. “That’s why we always try to secure our payments under the contract as much as we can.

“Moreover, considering the very critical power availability situation in Iraq, the Electricity Ministry is very much willing to put the megadeal power plants in operation as soon as possible. We do not believe that any substantial payment default may occur if we fulfil our contractual obligations timely and show actual progress at site as planned.”