China and Iran firms to build, expand Iraq power plants

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Iraq has signed electricity deals with Chinese and Iranian firms worth $1.2 billion to build a thermal power plant and upgrade another in the power-starving nation, a ministry of electricity spokesman said on Thursday.

China National Machinery and Equipment Corporation (CMEC) won a $1.189 billion deal to build a thermal power plant with two 630 megawatt units in Salahuddin province north of Baghdad, ministry spokesman Musab al-Mudarres said.

Iranian firms Farab Co. and Ameran Ofogh Co. were awarded work worth around $70 million to double the capacity of a Baghdad power plant to 640 MW by adding two gas units which were purchased from Siemens in 2008, he said.

The Salahuddin power plant is expected to go online in 45 months while expansion of Baghdad’s Sadr City gas plant will be finished in 12 months, Mudarres said during the signing ceremony.

Iraq is trying to ramp up electricity production as it rebuilds after years of war and international sanctions.

Power disruptions are a chief complaint among Iraqis, with demand far exceeding supply estimated at around 7,000 MW.