The Electricity Ministry of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has received about 50 expressions of interest to build a series of independent power projects (IPPs) across the autonomous region.

According to a source at the ministry, it will spend about one month evaluating the submissions before preparing a shortlist of qualified bidders.

Developers will then be invited to submit bids to build a project using natural gas or heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel or hydropower.

International developers are eligible to take part in the tender, as well as local companies. The winning bidders will design, supply, construct, commission, operate and maintain the IPPs.

The IPPs will add 6,000MW of power capacity in total. The programme is likely to be carried out in 2,000MW phases comprising several separate IPPs.

US-based PB Power recently completed a country-wide evaluation of Iraq’s electricity needs and the KRG is using this information to inform the planning of its IPP programme. According to the KRG official, additional private firms may or may not be selected to advise on the financial, technical and legal aspects of the scheme.

Meanwhile in Baghdad, Iraq’s Electricity Ministry decided to tender its former IPPs as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts earlier this year.

Estimated investment costs
($m)
Hydropower generation 459.4
Generation, conversion of gas turbines to combined cycle gas turbines 726.7
Transmission 600
Subtransmission & distribution 804
*=Kurdistan power sector, 2010-2030. Source: PB Power

Unlike the rest of Iraq, Kurdistan has experience in developing private power capacity. To date, this has been in the form of bilateral negotiations with Jordan-based developer Mass Global, which has developed more than 90 per cent of the region’s power generation capacity.

The company has developed three power projects in the country at Dohuk, Suleimaniyah and Irbil. The Dohuk power project has a total capacity of 500MW and Suleimaniyah has a generation capacity of 750MW. Both projects are fully operational. The first six units of the Irbil project are currently in operation.