Iraq’s cabinet has approved opportunities for investment for up to 6,000MW of new power capacity, MEED’s Iraq Energy Projects conference has been told.                                                                                                                                                                                 

“Yesterday, the [Iraq] cabinet approved granting investment opportunities for 6,000MW for plants in Iraq, there is many investment opportunities,” Karim Aftan al-Jumaili, Electricity Minister, Iraq told the event on 26 February.

Al-Jumaili told the event that 21,000MW of new power capacity was planned in order to meet forecasted capacity in the coming years. Al-Jumaili said that 6,000MW of new capacity was in the contract negotiation phase and an additional of proposed new 15,000MW was under study.

Al-Jumaili also highlighted opportunities in converting existing power plants from simple open-cycle to the more energy efficient combined-cycle technology. There is plans to convert about 8,000MW of existing capacity to combined-cycle, the conference was told.

In addition to building new generation capacity and improving transmission and distribution networks, the electricity minister also spoke of the government’s plans to introduce legislation to reduce wastage in the sector. “We need legislation for fees and collection… this would reduce wastage,” said Al-Jumaili.

As part of efforts to make plants more efficient, Al-Jumaili said that the ministry was planning to reduce the use of crude oil in power generations, and switch to gas turbines in all plants.