By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has published details of a new round of solar energy projects:

The Ministry of Electricity is please to invite local, regional and international Independent Power Producers (IPP) to submit Expressions of interest (EOI) to embark into a proposed reverse auctioning round for SEVEN (7) Green field solar PV IPP projects (each a “project”) with a potential combined capacity of 755MWp.

A project involves the design, finance, construction operation and maintenance of a utility scale solar power project to the Ministry on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis. A dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) shall be established to undertake the construction and operation of each project.

The Ministry, in its commercial capacity as a grid operator, will connect the SPV to the Iraqi transmission grid under a Transmission Connection Contract (TCC) and, in its capacity as owner of the land, will lease the land to the SPV under a Land Lease Contract (LLC). Also, the Ministry will purchase produced electricity from the SPV under the terms of the power purchase Contract (PPC).

The Ministry expects these project(s) to employ around 1300 people in the Republic of Iraq and supply more than 250,000 households with critically needed electricity supply.

The following projects are available :

  • Sawa-1 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 30 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Sawa-2 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Khidhir Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Iskanariya Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 225 MWp to be located in Babil Province,
  • Jissan Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Wassit Province,
  • Karbala Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 300 MWp to be located in Karbala Province,
  • Al-Diwania Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Diwania  Province,

The above project(s) may, at the Ministry’s discretion, be tendered on a standalone basis or grouped. For the proposed tender, the Ministry will conduct a transparent, fair and competitive reverse auctioning process to select a developer or a consortium for a single or a group of project(s).

Parties interested in participating (the “respondent”) in the process must fulfill the following pre- requisites for short listing:

  • Successful, proven and verifiable technical and financial capability and experience of no less than 10 years in developing renewable energy IPP Project(s) of no capacity less than 50 MW on an individual and not collective project basis, particularly utility scale solar PV projects.
  • An average annual turnover of more than US$ 10 Million for the last three years solely from revenues obtained via renewable energy projects development and operatorship, preferable majorly from solar PV projects.
  • Previously awarded projects should have been tendered according to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on similar auctions regionally or globally.
  • The respondent must have registered and licensed official regional and international offices.
  • The respondent must demonstrate previous initiative towards social responsibility and willingness to contribute to capacity building, to integrate local content, and to support the nascent renewable energy manufacturing and service sectors in the republic of Iraq.
  • The respondent must have never been barred by the Government of the Republic of Iraq, or any entity controlled or regulated by them, from participating in any project or conducting work of any form in the Republic of Iraq, including the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Also this applies to any other government, or any entity controlled or regulated by any other government.

Respondents that fulfill the requirements above shall express their interest to participate in the tender process by 29 April.2019 and the finnnal time to receive the (IPP) documentation 60 days from the announced date.

The number call of is MOE- HQ5/ 2019 An package (the “package”) must be sent in electronic copy format (a single PDF file) from an official business email address to 32_contracts@moelc.gov.iq

The requirements set herein;

  • Name of the respondent
  • Name and contact details (Postal address, telephone number, and email address) for the appropriate point of contact (Point of Contact) to whom future correspondence may be sent; and
  • Where the respondent is considering potential consortium partners, an indication of such intention and details of potential consortium partners (to the extent it is known).

The Ministry will not consider any proposals or packages submitted by mail, in person, or via liaison.

The following submission of the EOI, and after passing this stage this stage the respondent will bay the documentation (RFQ). The RFQ will include further information, including a description of the project(s), an outline of the tender process and eligibility criteria for pre- qualification.

The announcement shall not constitute in any way a commitment by the Ministry to proceed with the next stage, hold the proposed reverse auction, announce the tender, award any project or comply with the information provided herein. The Ministry retains the right to amend the scopes of the project(s), modify, extend, cancel or suspend the project(s), at any time for any reason without clarification or any liabilities for the Ministry or any other entity of the Government of the republic of Iraq.

This announcement shall be considered a complementary and integral part of the Project(s) Documentation.

(Source: NIC)

2.5 Million Iraqis and Businesses to Benefit from Improved Electricity Services

A new US$200 million World Bank project will provide increased and more reliable supply of electricity to about 2.5 million Iraqis and productive enterprises in the governorates of Basra, Al-Muthanna, Thi Qar, and Missan who currently suffer from frequent and long power cuts and rely on private or shared generators to cover the shortages within the public network.

The Electricity Services Reconstruction and Enhancement Project, approved today by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors, will support the Government of Iraq’s efforts to improve the quality and reliability of electricity supply by reducing the capacity limitations in the electricity distribution and transmission network.

The project aims to support increased efficiency of electricity operations and management which is key to reducing the fiscal burden levied by the sector on Iraq’s budget, drawing resources away from other public sector needs such as reconstruction, health and education.

Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director, said:

The lack of access to reliable power has a significant impact on household well-being, business growth, and the capacity of the enterprise sector to create sustainable jobs for the growing numbers of youth entering the job market.

“Improved electricity supply will support job creation, including enhancing women’s ability to engage in income generating activities. It will also promote economic diversification and allow enterprises to increase their productivity, thus fostering inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity for the population of Iraq South region”.

The project will support the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the electricity transmission and distribution grid including installation of new lines and power substations. In addition, the project will include installation of an Integrated Management Information Systems and customer call centers.

These activities will not only increase the network capacity to deliver electricity to the consumer premises, but will also support improvements in network operations efficiency and customer care such as reducing the duration of electricity outages, improving the accuracy in meter reading and billing records and fast response to electricity consumer concerns.

Paul Baringanire, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist and Project Team Leader, said:

Improved efficiency, transparency, and accountability of operations will not only improve the sector’s performance but also enhance the image and credibility of the sector institutions namely the Ministry of Electricity, the South Electricity Transmission Company, and the South Electricity Distribution Company with shareholders and electricity customers thus contributing to restoring citizen confidence and gaining support for sustained operations.”

(Source: World Bank)

By Farhad Alaaldin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

It has been six months since Baghdad formed its new government, and no major political crises have arisen. For Iraq, this is unheard of. This could be the result of the president, prime minister and parliament speaker working in harmony.

But as summer approaches, so do three potential problems: Basra’s urgent need for a reliable source of electricity, a growing opposition bloc in parliament and Baghdad’s contentious relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Many political pundits predict a tough summer ahead, one similar to last summer and its deadly unrest in Basra, when demonstrations erupted over the pitiful lack of basic services such as water and electricity, and many government and political party headquarters in the city were burned down.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture credit: Christian Lindgren)

Germany’s Siemens and the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity have agreed on the award of contracts valued at approximately EUR 700 million for Phase 1 of their “Iraq Roadmap“, covering short-, mid- and long-term addition of new highly-efficient power generation capacity, rehabilitation and upgrade of existing plants, and the expansion of transmission and distribution networks.

The agreement builds on the exclusive Memorandum of Understanding signed between the ministry and Siemens in October last year, and outlines the specific projects, associated budgets and timelines for the execution phase, covering all essential elements of the electrification of Iraq.

The document was signed by Joe Kaeser (pictured), President and CEO of Siemens AG, and Luay al-Khatteeb, Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, in Berlin in the presence of Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Prime Minister of Iraq and Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Projects include the EPC construction of a 500 megawatt gas-fired power plant in Zubaidiya; the upgrade of 40 gas turbines with upstream cooling systems; and the installation of 13 of 132 kilovolt substations along with 34 transformers across Iraq.

The ‘Siemens Roadmap for the Electrification of the New Iraq’ is a series of short, medium and long-term plans designed to meet the reconstruction goals of Iraq and support the country’s economic development. Along with the electrification scope, Siemens had also committed to the donation of a smart health clinic, a 60 million US-dollar software grant for universities of Iraq, and the training of more than 1,000 Iraqis in vocational education.

The clinic will be equipped with the company’s medical devices to make healthcare more accessible to Iraqis and will support the rehabilitation of populations in liberated areas of the country, with the capacity to treat up to 10,000 patients per year. As for the grant, it will empower local university students with the digital skills essential for the future.

The economic viability of the plan is secured by billions of US dollars in potential fuel savings and revenue generation for the electricity sector. The company also envisions the creation of tens of thousands of jobs over the course of the projects. The roadmap focuses on energy, education, compliance and financing, aiming to advance sustainable economic development, national security and quality of life for the people of Iraq. Siemens initially presented the Roadmap to the Government of Iraq during the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait, in February 2018.

Kaeser commented:

Our mission is to secure reliable and affordable electricity for the Iraqi people and help them rebuild their country. This binding agreement addresses the various aspects of the roadmap. We are also committed to supporting Iraq in arranging financing for the projects, creating attractive jobs and opportunities for small and medium enterprises.

“Investing in the country’s future workforce through education and training is close to our heart. Contributing to social and economic development is at the core of what we do and forms a significant part of this agreement.

(Source: Siemens)

UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP has visited Baghdad for a three-day visit (Sunday, 14 April to Tuesday, 16 April 2019) where he met with the Iraqi Prime Minister and announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF) will make an additional £1 billion of support available for British firms operating in Iraq, providing jobs and promoting stability in the region.

In the first visit to Iraq by a cabinet minister for more than a year, Dr Fox will be meeting with senior Iraqis including the Prime Minister and President to discuss the bilateral trading relationship.

Alongside the Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mehdi, the Trade Secretary announced that UK Export Finance is making an additional £1 billion available to support UK exports to Iraq, bringing its total support for the country to £2 billion.

The measure is designed to promote Iraq’s economic development and nation-building, ensuring that UKEF can continue to help the Government of Iraq deliver critical infrastructure.

To date, UKEF has deployed its existing capacity for Iraq, providing around £1 billion in support for projects including:

  • A US$35 million (£26 million) loan for the scoping phase of a water and wastewater treatment project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq provided by UK company Biwater
  • US$1.02 billion (£770 million) to support Enka UK and GE to build 2 new gas-fired power stations in the Basra region and UK-based GE Grid Solutions to build and refurbish 14 electricity sub-stations across Iraq
  • support for a €30.2 million (£26 million) Siemens UK contract to refurbish the 320-megawatt Al Mussaib power station in southern Iraq
  • a loan to support a US$220 million (£169 million) contract being undertaken by a UK subsidiary of GE to refurbish gas-fired power stations

This support is available to UK companies selling to Iraq or investing in the country and will help the Government of Iraq access finance for projects that source goods and services from the UK.

The International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

The atmosphere in Baghdad is one of optimism – it is a country which is having an increasingly stable period at a time of significant unrest in the wider region. The British government, working closely with the UK private sector and our Iraqi partners, have a key role to play in the country’s long-term prosperity. The £1 billion we have announced today will significantly strengthen our ability to do just that.

“Iraq’s future is bright, and my international economic department will continue to work tirelessly to ensure it maintains this stability, allowing the hard work of its talented citizens to flourish for the benefit of all.

“Trade is about more than economic self-interest, it is the means through which we deliver the mutual prosperity that underpins our collective security. That is the true prize of trade policy and promotion done right.

During the visit, the Trade Secretary will speak to young Iraqi entrepreneurs who are working to create a more vibrant private sector to support the long-term stabilisation and prosperity of Iraq. He will also meet British firms operating in-country whose investments are vital in the country’s rebuilding efforts.

Siemens UK is improving the electricity supply in Iraq using UKEF finance. Steve Scrimshaw, Country Lead, Gas and Power UK and Ireland, Siemens UK, said:

We are delighted this additional funding has been made available for ongoing regeneration in Iraq and look forward to working with UKEF and the Iraqi government on future opportunities.

“Siemens has already benefited from UKEF support for work on the refurbishment of the Al Mussaib power plant. This will be vital for the people of Iraq who will benefit from both the power and the jobs it will create. With work being delivered from our Newcastle business, it is also helping to secure jobs in the UK.

(Source: UK FCO)

President Hassan Rouhani has called for Iran and neighbouring Iraq to expand their gas and electricity dealings and boost bilateral trade to $20 billion, state TV reported, despite difficulties caused by US sanctions against Tehran.

“The plans to export electricity and gas and hopefully oil continue and we are ready to expand these contacts not only for the two countries but also for other countries in the region,” Rouhani said after a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, in remarks carried by state television.

In March, the United States granted Iraq a 90-day waiver exempting it from sanctions to buy energy from Iran, the latest extension allowing Baghdad to keep purchasing electricity from its neighbour.

“We hope that our plans to expand trade volume to $20 billion will be realised within the news few months or years,” Rouhani said. Iranian media reports have put the current level of trade at about $12 billion.

Rouhani expressed hope that work on building a railway linking the two countries, would begin within the next few months.

The railway project was part of deals reached during Rouhani’s March visit to Baghdad, meant to underline that Tehran still plays a dominant role in Iraq despite US efforts to isolate Iran.

Iran and Iraq fought a devastating 1980-88 war but the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that ousted Saddam Hussein prompted a long Sunni Islamist insurgency during which Iran’s regional sway rose at the expense of the United States.

Iraq on Saturday closed its Sheeb border crossing with Iran to travellers and trade until further notice, Iraqi security sources said, as flooding continues to submerge villages in southwestern Iran.

US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy exports in November, citing its nuclear programme and meddling in the Middle East, but has granted waivers to several buyers to meet consumer energy needs.

Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed its power stations, importing roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day via pipelines in the south and east.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi said he hopes the United States will keep waiving sanctions on energy imports from neighboring Iran, noting that the Arab country will need to purchase electricity from the Islamic Republic for three years.

In November last year, Washington granted a 45-day waiver on electricity to the Arab country and extended it by 90 days in December after US President Donald Trump’s administration reimposed sanctions on Iran in May, following walking out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Earlier this month, the US State Department extended the 90-day waiver for the second time to let Iraq continue energy imports from Iran. The original exemption granted in December expired on March 19.

“Hopefully this waiver will be extended until Iraq can stand on its feet economically,” said Halbusi at the US Institute of Peace on a visit to Washington, where he met senior officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.

Iraq is the biggest importer of electricity from Iran. It needs more than 23,000 megawatts of electricity to meet its domestic demand but years of war following the 2003 US invasion have left its power infrastructure in tatters and a deficit of some 7,000 megawatts.

“After these three years, maybe we can see Iraq as economically independent and we won’t need to import power or electricity from a foreign country. Maybe we can address this issue after three years,” he added, Press TV reported.

At a press conference held after his speech, Halbusi warned Washington of the negative effect of “any hasty, uncalculated step to adopt policies and procedures against countries in this region.”

The electricity shortfall in the war-torn country is especially acute in the sweltering summers, which led to violent protests in Basra in September and turned into a national crisis.

Iraq’s electricity demand is expected to increase again this summer and any cuts in Iranian supplies are set to trigger more protests and reignite unrest, destabilizing the Arab country.

In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, and air conditioners.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) will support a €30.2 million contract for the refurbishment of Al Mussaib power station in southern Iraq, the UK government has announced.

The support will enable the rehabilitation of a 320 megawatt (MW) turbine, that will help improve the overall efficiency and output at the power station.

Al Mussaib power station, located close to Baghdad, is one of the main providers of electricity for the city. Increasing its output will help secure the supply of basic electricity to Baghdad residents.

Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead (pictured) said:

I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting the first phase of the refurbishment, which will have such a significant impact on the supply and security of electricity in southern Iraq.

“The demand for UK expertise on complex projects like this highlights the UK’s leadership in this sector and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting projects that will have such a direct impact on improving the country’s infrastructure and the lives of the Iraqi people.

“I encourage likeminded businesses to get in touch with UKEF to learn more about the kind of financial support we can provide.”

This announcement follows the agreement between the governments of the UK and Iraq signed in March 2017, which re-affirmed the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development.

Darren Davidson, Managing Director – Power Generation Services, Power & Gas, Siemens UK said:

“The refurbishment of the Al Mussaib power plant will be hugely important both for the citizens of Baghdad and for our international business. UKEF’s support demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to improving Iraq’s infrastructure and the UK’s energy sector.”

(Source: UKEF)