• The preparations for the substation project come after protests in Baghdad
  • Sources say contractors will be wary of taking on the project
  • Baghdad is in the midst of a budget crisis due to lower oil revenues

Iraq is preparing to tender a contract for about a hundred substations, according to the government’s Director General of Electricity Distribution Nafa Abdulsada Ali al-Humeadwe, who spoke at an infrastructure conference in Turkey on 3 November.

The project is expected to be worth $300-400m and will help to improve electricity distribution before peak demand in the summer, when increased air conditioning use typically puts an extra burden on power infrastructure.

The preparations for the substation project come after protests in Baghdad, which were fuelled by electricity shortages.

Contractors will be wary of taking on the project, according to industry sources.

“Strengthening the grid is a priority for Prime Minster Abadi due to the protests in Baghdad, which have made his situation very precarious,” said an industry source.

“Budget problems mean that contractors will look very carefully at the terms and conditions on the tender documents. They will want to know exactly how they are going to be paid.”

Shortfall of 9,000 megawatts

In August Mohammed Fathi, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, said the national grid was supplying 12,000 megawatts on average while there was domestic demand for 21,000 megawatts.