Prime Power Middle East (PPME), a wholly owned subsidiary of Prime Metro Power Holdings Corporation, has commenced operation of its power plant in Umm Qasr, Basra.

The power plant started its commercial operation last Sunday, 09 February 2020, and is designed to deliver base load of 24/7 power to the Umm Qasr Ports Authority Zone.

The gas-fired power plant is equipped with three latest version Wartsila W20V34SG engines with fast start capability able to provide power to the GCPI grid within 30 seconds. It is fully automated with the latest control system allowing stable electricity generation to the Umm Qasr Port grid.

Prime Power started discussions with the Iraqi government in 2016 in light of the growing power shortages. In May 2018, Prime Power signed a 23-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Genral Company of Ports or Iraq (GCPI).

Benefiting from natural gas supply from a specially built 15km natural gas pipeline, the Umm Qasr Port Power Plant is the first phase of a multi-phase development program that starts with its current Phase 1 operational capacity of 29.3MW reaching total generation capacity 68.4MW in Phase 2, with room to increase capacity up to 150MW in the coming years.

The power plant operation will be integrated with a distribution system to support the port industrial zone and surrounding cities.

Enrique Razon Jr., Prime Power Chairman and CEO, said:

We are delighted to start our greenfield power plant in Umm Qasr Port. It is a testament to the potential of Iraq.

“Under a join operation framework with GCPI we were able to leverage the Basra Governorate’s natural gas resources to develop a first class state of the art facility that adds vital power generation infrastructure and services to state of Iraq.

“We see this plant as the first phase of many as we continue to be long term investors in Iraq and to contribute to its economic and social development.

In spite of some of geopolitical and social challenges Iraq is going through, the plant was built within record time and ahead of schedule.

Guillaume Lucci, Prime Power President and COO, said:

We are pleased to have delivered such critical infrastructure and services to GCPI and the Port of Umm Qasr.

“The completion of Phase 1, in less than one year, is a significant milestone in Prime Power’s strategy to build up an infrastructure portfolio that delivers fast and critical investments to regions in need.

“We will continue to rest on our strong presence on the ground as we work hand in hand with the government and the communities we serve.

Moving forward, PPME will continue to improve the electricity situation at the port, and is looking forward to launching the Phase 2 in the last quarter of 2020.

Prime Metro Power will continue to aim for an even greater contribution to the Iraq power market, and continue the boundless use of economical and sustainable power generation facilities.

(Source: ICTSI)

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

Iraq likely to continue importing Iranian natural gas under US waiver renewal

Iraqi officials have indicated that the United States is likely to renew a key Iran sanctions waiver that will allow Baghdad to continue importing Iranian natural gas to fuel its electricity needs, the AP reported.

The three-month waiver is set to expire Thursday.

Iraq relies on Iranian imports to meet the lion’s share of its electricity needs in the face of shortages that have helped provoke widespread protests in recent years.

Click here to read the full article.

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

The CEO of Germany’s Siemens has said that US President Donald Trump would support his company’s role in reconstruction projects in countries like Iraq.

Joe Kaeser (pictured) made the comment to CNBC at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Following a hotly-contested competition in 2018, it was agreed that Siemens and rival GE would share the work to upgrade Iraq’s electricity system, with GE supplying 14 gigawatts (GW), and Siemens 11 GW.

Siemens employs around 60,000 workers in the US.

(Source: CNBC)

By John Lee.

The head of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has reportedly said that the bank would stop processing payments for Iranian gas imports if a US sanctions exemption expires next month.

Faisal al-Haimus told AFP:

“As a bank, the most important thing we have is that we are compliant (with international regulations). That’s why people trust us.”

Iraq relies heavily on Iran to support its struggling electricity sector.

When the United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector in 2018, it granted Iraq a series of temporary waivers to allow it to buy gas from Iran.

More here.

(Source: AFP)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly signed a deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) to import electricity at a rate of 500 megawatts of electricity from Sunni Arab gulf countries before next summer, Iraqi Ministry of Electricity spokesperson a told state newspaper on Thurday.

According to Rudaw, the GCCIA will fund the cost of building the two 400-KV lines, which will run for 300 kilometers across Iraq and Kuwait.

(Source: Rudaw)

Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions is providing a drink can factory of the Royal Can Making Company (RCMC) in Iraq with six MAN 18V32/40 CD engines, with a total capacity of 53 megawatts (MW).

The recently constructed power plant in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, will supply power to the RCMC manufacturing site and also to other nearby industrial plants.

Waldemar Wiesner, Head of Region MEA (Middle-East Africa), Power Plant Sales, at MAN Energy Solutions, explained:

Iraq is a country in the process of change. After the armed conflicts of the past, the World Bank is forecasting economic growth of 6.5% for this year…

“Providing local businesses with a reliable energy supply is the prerequisite for economic growth in Iraq.

“Our localized power plant solutions ensure the operation of industrial plants and make customers, such as the Royal Can Making Company, independent of the national power grid.

The new power plant guarantees a reliable energy supply for the RCMC drink can factory and therefore enables high utilization of production capacities, as the plant is no longer affected by fluctuations in the national grid. The company manufactures more than two billion drink cans every year.

Increased presence in the Persian Gulf

This year, MAN Energy Solutions has already commissioned two power plants in the Iraqi cities of Samawah and Basra.

We are proud that the Royal Can Making Company is another customer from the Persian Gulf region which is relying on energy solutions provided by MAN Energy Solutions. In total, we are now supplying more than 200 MW of power to rebuild the country’s infrastructure,” said Wiesner.

(Source: MAN Energy Solutions)

Power Grids of Iran, Syria to Be Connected via Iraq: Minister

Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said his ministry plans to connect the country’s national grid to Syria through Iraq as Tehran and Damascus signed a preliminary agreement in this regard.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Iranian Energy Ministry and the Syrian Electricity Ministry in Tehran on Saturday, Ardakanian pointed to the synchronization of the power grids of Iran and Iraq on Friday and said, “We intend to use the existing infrastructure to connect the Iranian and Syrian power grids via Iraq.”

The Iranian minister added that in the near future, the electricity transmission between Iran and Syria would become possible via Iraq.

“We plan to create the necessary infrastructure for the implementation of this program within the next three years so that we witness the synchronization of the power grids of Iran and Syria,” he added.

The power grids of Iran and Iraq were synchronized in a ceremony held on Friday attended by Ardakanian and the Iraqi deputy minister of electricity.

Earlier this year, the two countries had reached an agreement to connect their power grids by the end of 2019.

Speaking to Tasnim, Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Homayoun Ha’eri said with the synchronization of the national grids, the two countries would witness the increase of electricity exchanges.

According to Ardakanian, Iran’s exports of electricity to neighboring states, particularly to Iraq, reached a record high last year.

Ardakanian and his Iraqi counterpart Luay al-Khatteeb signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and a contract in February to boost cooperation between the two countries in the electricity industry.

On October 16, a US State Department spokesman said Washington has once again exempted Iraq from its sanctions against Iran, allowing the Arab country to continue gas and electricity imports from the Islamic Republic for another four-month period.

Power cuts in Iraq have often prompted protests against the authorities. Iran supplies enough gas to power 2,500 megawatts (MW), as well as providing Iraq with 1,200 MW in direct power supplies, according to media reports.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran connected its national grid to Iraq on Friday in a bid to help the Arab country reduce its power outages.

The power grids of Iran and Iraq were synchronized in a ceremony held on Friday with Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian and the Iraqi deputy minister of electricity.

Earlier this year, the two countries had reached an agreement to connect their power grids by the end of 2019.

Speaking to Tasnim, Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Homayoun Ha’eri said with the synchronization of the national grids, the two countries would witness the increase of electricity exchanges.

According to Ardakanian, Iran’s exports of electricity to neighboring states, particularly to Iraq, reached a record high last year.

Ardakanian and his Iraqi counterpart Luay al-Khatteeb signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and a contract in February to boost cooperation between the two countries in the electricity industry.

On October 16, a US State Department spokesman said Washington has once again exempted Iraq from its sanctions against Iran, allowing the Arab country to continue gas and electricity imports from the Islamic Republic for another four-month period.

Power cuts in Iraq have often prompted protests against the authorities. Iran supplies enough gas to power 2,500 megawatts (MW), as well as providing Iraq with 1,200 MW in direct power supplies, according to media reports.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Government has announced new measures intended to stimulate job creation in the electricity distribution industry.

In a statement, it said:

Training courses lasting for 3 months or longer in the area of  maintenance of electrical transformers used in the electricity distribution sector in Iraq. The courses will be tailor-made for unemployed young people who do not have a university degree, but  who have completed their intermediate, secondary or technical education.

“Trainees will be paid a monthly allowance of 150,000 Iraqi dinars during the training course.

“Trainees who successfully complete the training course will be paid a monthly allowance of 250,000 Iraqi dinars for six months to help them develop further their skills.

 “Groups of trainees consisting of three people or more who wish to establish their own industrial workshops will be granted a loan. –

 “The Ministry of Electricity will contract these workshops as needed.

The move is the latest in a series of reforms announced by the government in response to continuing protests in the country.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian (pictured) has said the export of electricity to neighboring countries has reached a record high in the past year.

Addressing a Sunday session of Tehran’s City Council, Ardakanian said management of the situation over the past two water years has helped the country break the record in three sectors of the power industry.

The minister said the records in electricity generation, power consumption and exports have been broken since 2017-2018 water year.

According to Ardakanian, Iran’s export of electricity to neighboring states, particularly to Iraq, reached a record high last year.

Ardakanian and his Iraqi counterpart Luay al-Khatteeb signed two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and a contract in February to boost cooperation between the two countries in the electricity industry.

On Wednesday, a US State Department spokesman said Washington has once again exempted Iraq from its sanctions against Iran, allowing the Arab country to continue gas and electricity imports from the Islamic Republic for another four-month period.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)