The greenfield plant will initially have capacity of 200 MW, with a further 250 MW added six months after first production begins. About 250 MW of output will serve Irbil, with the remainder to be connected to the national electricity grid. An award is expected by the end of February for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. The local Mekdar Company for Engineering & Contracting has also been selected for preliminary site work. Germany’s Siemens, France’s Alstom, the US’ General Electric (GE) and Europe’s ABB are among the companies competing to supply the gas turbines. The project will be financed locally.

Mass Jordan is also planning to develop a second plant with a similar scope in Sulaimaniyah. ‘We have completed our feasibility study and have started negotiations with the International Finance Corporation to help fund the project,’ Abdul Kadir Ahmed, general manager of the Aktar Group, told MEED on the sidelines of the Power-gen conference held in Abu Dhabi on 1 February.

With generation demand fast exceeding actual capacity, Baghdad has attempted in recent months to attract the private sector to the power sector. According to the Energy Ministry, generation capacity is now about 4,500 MW, with demand reaching 8,700 MW. ‘At the current rate, we are seeing annual growth of about 25 per cent, which gives us an indication of how urgent it is for us to install more gas turbine plants and resolve our fuel problems,’ said deputy energy minister Barda Mahdi al-Jabouri on 1 February.