Germany’s Elbe Maschinenbauhas signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with the Energy Ministry for three new power plants.The contract, which is the largest power deal to have been awarded since the June handover of power to the interim administration, calls for a 550-MW station and a 110-MW plant, both heavy fuel-operated, and includes an option for a 240-MW unit which would be either heavy fuel-operated or gas-fired. The value of the contract has not been disclosed. The plants, set for completion by the end of 2005, are expected to be located in the south and around Baghdad. An official announcement on their location is expected from the ministry by the end of August. The supply of equipment is scheduled for September, with construction starting in late autumn. Current output in Iraq is estimated at 4,800 MW.