The Japanese government has awarded Japan’s Marubeni Corporation an estimated $75 million contract to supply a 60-MW power plant at Sawamah in Muthanna province in the south. The award falls under the $1,500 grant assistance package Tokyo agreed with Baghdad in 2004.

Marubeni will supply four 15-MW turbines for the greenfield thermal power plant. According to sources at the Electricity Ministry, a site has been identified. Construction and erection work, expected to begin in May and take 24 months, will be carried out by a local contractor. The estimated $120 million plant is the largest single project to date to fall under Japan’s aid programme.

Power generation throughout the country fell to its lowest point in three years in mid-February, with generating capacity dropping to 3,700 MW while demand reached nearly 9,000 MW. A host of projects are waiting to move ahead, although contract awards are unlikely to be made until the new government has been formed and a cabinet appointed.