Turkish power company Karadeniz Holding has awarded contracts to Finland’s Wartsila for the operation and maintenance of two floating power plants in Iraq.

The ships will be moored in the ports of Um Quasr and Al Zubayr, near Basra, south eastern Iraq, and will supply electricity to ease deficiencies in Iraq’s energy supply. Commissioning of the two plants is scheduled for summer 2010, and they should provide a total of 346.5MW.

The floating power plants, called “Powerships”, were developed by Karadeniz after the company acquired a series of second-hand generating sets from China and Dubai in 2007 and 2008. These were then installed on one barge and three vessels converted into floating power plants in shipyards in Turkey and Singapore.

Of the generating equipment acquired by Karadeniz there are 30 Sulzer 16ZAV40S engines, 17 are Wartsila 12V46 engines, and six are Wartsila 16V46 engines. Together, these produce more than 570MW of the total 615MW produced by Karadeniz under its Power of Friend Ship programme, a project to address energy shortages through floating power stations. The company has already stationed the floating power plants in countries in the Middle East, northern Africa and sourthern Asia.

The Iraq agreements cover two of the powerships; the ‘Karadeniz Powership Dogan Bey’, which has an output capacity of 126.5MW, and the ‘Karadeniz Powership Kaya Bey’ with an output capacity of 220MW.