Citizens in Iraqi Kurdistan will benefit from access to power for 24 hours a day by the end of 2011.

This represents a significant improvement for the region, which had access to only two hours of power a day six years ago. This figure recently reached 20 hours a day.

The achievement has been driven by steady progress in Iraq’s private power sector. Jordan’s Mass Global has developed more than 90 per cent of the region’s power generation capacity. The remaining power is provided by two dams in hydropower.

Speaking at MEED’s Iraq Power & Gas 2011 conference in Istanbul, Mass Global power projects manager, Abdul Qader Ahmed, said that the developer was on schedule to bring additional power capacity online before the end of the year.

The company has developed three power projects in the country at Dohuk, Suleimaniyah and Irbil. The Dohuk power project has a total capacity of 500MW and Suleimaniyah has a generation capacity of 750MW. Both projects are fully operational.

The first four units of the Irbil project are currently in operation and generate 500MW. Another 125MW unit is to come online on 15 June, which will be followed by the commissioning of unit 6 on 15 July, unit 7 on 15 October and unit 8 on 15 December, resulting in a total power capacity of 1,000MW at Irbil.

Mass Global also plans to convert the simple cycle power plant at Irbil to combined cycle. It has received bids from five consortiums to convert the project and is currently evaluating proposals (MEED 11:4:11).