Gas feedstock will be Iraq’s biggest challenge in meeting future power demand, says Iraq’s Electricity Minister.

Speaking on the sidelines of MEED’s Iraq Energy Projects conference in Dubai on 26 February, Karim Aftan al-Jumaili, Electricity Minister, Iraq said that “gas fuel” would be the biggest challenge to implementing the country’s ambitious power generation programme.

Al-Jumaili had earlier told the conference that the Ministry was committed to phasing out crude oil-fired plants to plants utilising natural gas. The Ministry is planning to oversee the development of 21,000MW of new power generation capacity in the coming years.

In Iraq’s Integrated National Energy Strategy (INES), it is forecasted that the rise in the use of natural gas for power production will result in the power sector’s gas consumption amounting to 4 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) by 2030. Baghdad is pushing ahead with major projects such as the $17bn Basra Gas Project, in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, to reduce gas flaring and increase gas supplies for power generation.

Also speaking at the MEED event, Thadmir Ghadbhan, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisors Commission, said that plans were underway for direct gas transmission from Iraq’s North Rumaila gas processing plant to supply feedstock for a 1,500MW power plant.