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)

GE Power has announced that it has provided an advanced 9E gas turbine to Iraq’s Al Qudus Power Plant.

The company will also service up to seven GE 9E gas turbines at the facility throughout 2019, including maintenance, supply of parts and rehabilitation.

GE is installing the new gas turbine at the site and it is expected to generate up to an additional 125 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

The service agreement will enhance the reliability of operations at the plant, helping to maintain a stable supply of up to 875 megawatts (MW) of power over the course of the coming year.

GE employs up to 300 people in Iraq, with offices in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

The Financial Times has reported that the recently-agreed electricity deals with Siemens and General Electric (GE) are not certain to be approved.

It quotes Minister for Electricity Luay Al-Khatteeb (pictured) as saying:

“I don’t have financial allocations or the processes available at hand, it doesn’t allow me to cherry-pick the right consultancies to deal with these multibillion-dollar deals. The bureaucracy that I inherited is . . . illogical. … certainly it’s going to be quite challenging to blindly accept such proposals.”

Al-Khatteeb took his post after the non-binding deals, or “principles of co-operation” were agreed with his predecessor, Qasim Al Fahdawi.

He said he that “volunteer experts” are helping “read in between the lines of these sophisticated legal contractual documents.

Last month, Lisa Davis, CEO of the Siemens Gas and Power Operating Company, and member of the corporation’s managing board, told The National last week that “discussions are ongoing.

More here.

(Source: Financial Times)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced it will support UK firms with US $1.02 billion to build two new power stations in Iraq and support the restoration of a number of electricity substations in the country.

  • US $1.02 billion in support for UK firms to build two new power stations
  • Agreement will help build and refurbish numerous electricity substations across Iraq
  • Announcement reaffirms the UK’s commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development

US $620 million financing will go to support two contracts between GE and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to build two power stations in Samawa and Dhi Qar, located northwest of Basra, in southern Iraq.

UKEF had already provided initial support for the project; this additional financing supports the main construction phase of the project involving further procurement from UK suppliers through GE sub-contractor ENKA UK.

UKEF will also provide US $400 million to support a project by GE’s Grid Solutions, business to develop 14 sub-stations across Iraq. GE will build new substations on a turnkey basis and supply equipment such as transformers and other parts to rehabilitate existing substations, helping to bring power to areas with significant power shortages from the north to the south of the country.

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.

This project will play a key role in bolstering the capacity of the Iraqi electricity grid, the two new power stations, located in the Basra region, will give citizens the access they need to critical infrastructure.

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

The scale of these contracts illustrates the demand for British expertise in the utilities sector and the level of support the government can give to British businesses looking to make the most of similar opportunities across the globe.

“The UK Government continues to be committed to Iraq’s economic development and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is supporting projects that will have such a direct impact on improving the country’s critical infrastructure and the lives of the Iraqi people.

Guto Davies, GE Energy Financial Services’ Global Capital Advisory Managing Director, said:

“The announcement of these new facilities further strengthens GE’s collaborations in Iraq to support the country’s power infrastructure and meet the growing need for electricity. GE recognises the importance of UKEF in supporting critical infrastructure projects in Iraq and the UK supply-chain. We are delighted they continue to fund major projects in the country’s power energy sector.”

Yavuz Akturk, Director at ENKA UK, said:

Power shortages continue to halt Iraq’s reconstruction and addressing this scarcity is crucial to the country’s future. As ENKA, we have taken a significant role in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, and with these projects we will help the people in the country which are in urgent need for electricity.

“It would not be possible without the continuous support of the UK Government and the highly dedicated UKEF team; and we as ENKA, are grateful for the high-level support for these projects which will also provide great opportunities for the UK exporters.”

(Source: UK Govt)

By John Lee.

Talks are reported to be continuing between Germany’s Siemens and the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity regarding a major investment in the country’s electricity infrastructure.

Lisa Davis (pictured), CEO of the Siemens Gas and Power Operating Company, and member of the corporation’s managing board, told The National last week that “discussions are ongoing”, adding, “we’re working on their timeline and within their structure to getting there as effectively as they can to bringing the projects to reality as they need.

Following a hotly-contested competition last year, it was agreed that Siemens and GE would share the work to upgrade they system, with GE supplying 14 gigawatts (GW), and Siemens 11 GW.

(Source: The National)

By John Lee.

General Electric (GE), Standard Chartered Bank and the state-run Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) are reported to have jointly closed a $600-million financing agreement to fund the ambitious electricity project ‘Power Up Plan’ in Iraq.

According to Trade Arabia, the project will be implemented in two phases, providing more than 2 gigawatts (GW) of new power, and ensuring continuity of supply of up to 6.7 GW to Iraq’s grid.

The financing arrangement is said to be the largest bespoke Letter of Credit (LC) confirmation and discounting transaction of its kind in the region.

(Source: Trade Arabia)

GE (NYSE: GE) signed Principles of Cooperation (POC) with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity to develop the country’s power sector.

The plan is expected to generate up to 14 gigawatts (GW) of power, create up to 65,000 direct and indirect jobs, support the government to realize savings and recoverable losses of up to $3 billion per year, establish a local technology center and support water and healthcare access.

The POC was signed by Minister Qasim Al Fahdawi, Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, and Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE’s Power Services in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The comprehensive plan builds on GE’s legacy of continuous presence and commitment to bring progress to the people of Iraq over the past 50 years, and is comprised of the following key tenets:

  1. Supporting the path to energy security with 14 GW. As an immediate priority, GE will deploy proven fast power technologies and undertake upgrades at existing power plant sites to bring approximately 1.5 GW of additional power online by 2019 – the equivalent electricity needed to supply up to 1.5 million Iraqi homes, as well as undertake maintenance and rehabilitation services to secure the availability of another 7 GW that are currently operating. In addition, the agreement includes upgrades and services for existing power plants; the conversion of simple cycle power plants to combined cycle, which can help bring new power online without consuming additional fuel or releasing further emissions; as well as the establishment of new power plants with efficient, reliable power generation technology. Furthermore, GE will develop substations and overhead lines across the country, and a centralized energy management system covering generation, transmission and distribution. These initiatives will add up to 14 GW of power and strengthen grid connectivity.
  2. Realizing $3 billion in savings and recoverable losses annually. Overall, GE’s activities will help the Government realize savings and recover losses of up to $3 billion per year. Repairs, maintenance, upgrades and other services will help to reduce the operating costs of existing power plants. To further improve the transmission and distribution of power, GE will undertake comprehensive decongestion network studies, as well as advisory services to reduce collection recoverable losses. In addition, GE is offering its unique solution for integrating the capture of flared gas and power generation using GE’s advanced Gas to Power technologies. In July, Baker Hughes, a GE company signed a contract with the Iraqi Ministry  of Oil for a modular natural gas plant solution for flared gas recovery in the Nassiriya and Al Gharraf oilfields.

GE will assist the Government of Iraq to unlock financing for these projects through its extensive relationships with Global Export Credit Agencies and financial institutions.

As part of the proposals included in the POC, as well as GE’s commitment to a shared future and the progress of the Iraqi people, the company also expects to:

  1. Build local capabilities. GE plans to establish a local Technology Center comprising of a Repairs Center, a Monitoring & Diagnostics Center and a Training Center.
  2. Contribute towards providing critical services to local communities. GE intends to supply three trailer-mounted mobile water treatment units to help deliver drinking water to contribute to the everyday needs of the people of Basra. The company also plans to provide neonatal intensive care equipment and advanced medical care training for nursing staff at a neonatal intensive care center to meet the need for specialized healthcare services.

Mussab Almudaris, official spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, said, “Our focus is on rebuilding Iraq to provide stable, sustainable development for our people, and developing the electricity sector is a critical component of these efforts. GE’s action plan is an ideal fit for our needs, offering a holistic package that brings industry-leading technologies, financing and social services to meet our most critical immediate and long-term needs.”

Russell Stokes, President & CEO of GE Power said, “Our presence in Iraq is based on a history of trust, partnership and success that spans over 50 years. We are honored to support the government’s focus on rebuilding Iraq, and we are proud of our legacy of delivering power where needed in the country. We understand how important it is to deliver power immediately and our holistic action plan brings together advanced solutions, financing, local investments, trainings and social services that are expected to benefit families, businesses and industries across Iraq.”

GE employs up to 300 people in Iraq and has three offices in the country – in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. Today, GE and its partner CFMI power more than 90 percent of the aircrafts operated by Iraqi Airways, the company’s technologies contribute up to 55 percent of the current electricity production in Iraq and nearly 4,000 GE Healthcare products are deployed in hospitals and clinics across the country.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

Germany’s Siemens may have to share a $15-billion contract to supply power-generation equipment to Iraq with US rival General Electric (GE).

The Financial Times reports that although it appeared that Siemens would win the deal, the Trump administration successfully intervened on behalf of GE.

Last month German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel had personally intervened with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to persuade the Iraqi Government to award the contract to Siemens.

(Source: Financial Times)

By John Lee.

German business newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel has personally intervened with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to persuade the Iraq Government to sign a major contract with Siemens to upgrade the country’s electricity infrastructure.

It is understood that the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Thomas Bareiß, accompanied Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser (pictured) on a visit to Baghdad on Sunday in the hope of agreeing a multi-billion euro deal.

The German export credit guarantee company Hermes would be expected to underwrite any contract.

US-based General Electric (GE) is believed to be also in the running.

(Source: Handelsblatt)

Baker Hughes, a GE company has been awarded a contract by the South Gas Company of Iraq (SGC) for fast-track solutions to help the recovery of flare gas for Nassiriya and Al Gharraf  [Garraf] oilfields. The importance of the project was highlighted by the attendance of several high-level officials, including HE Jabbar Al-Luaib, the Minister of Oil of Iraq, at the agreement-signing ceremony.

As per the agreement, BHGE will develop solutions for flare gas recovery at Nassiriya and Al Gharraf oilfields using advanced modular gas processing (NGL) technology developed in the United States and Italy. The project will utilize the modular skid-mounted Gas Processing technology to build 200 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) NGL plant and is expected to be completed by 2021.

The project will support the development of a fully integrated natural gas liquid (NGL) plant at Nasiriya that will recover 200 MMSCFD of dry gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

The modular solution will support power plants with dry gas for efficient power generation, thus helping meet the growing demand for electricity using clean fuel. It will also contribute to curtailing the amount of gas flared in the fields of Nassiriya and Gharraf that otherwise goes to waste.

The advanced technology used to develop the plant will help produce more than 1,000 tons of LPG per day and recover more than 900 cubic meters per day of condensates, which will help to meet the domestic demand for cooking gas.

The surplus LPG and condensate will be exported, generating high revenue to the Iraqi government.  Contributing to the social and economic development of Nassiriya, the project is aligned with the vision of the Ministry of Oil and the government.

H.E. Jabbar Ali Al-Allaibi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil said, that this project is important achievement for the Ministry and marks the entry of a new phase for the sector, highlighted by time optimal utilization of flare gas, which is a major milestone in the government’s extensive efforts to drive a better future for Iraq.

H.E. also highlighted the prominence of this project for the province of Dhi Qar specifically and for Iraq in general adding that BHGE will provide it latest and advanced technologies and solutions to optimize the use of flare gas at the Nassiriya and Al Gharaf oilfields recovering 200 MMSCFD of dry gas daily.

Rami Qasem, President, MENAT & India, BHGE, said:

“As a local trusted partner to Iraq, BHGE is bringing advanced technologies and solutions that can help meet the Ministry’s goals for the industry. This contract is a testament to our continued commitment to supporting the Ministry of Oil’s strategic goals by deploying advanced flare gas solutions to build the country’s oil and gas infrastructure. The project will create more than 500 direct and indirect jobs for Iraqis, build local capabilities and strengthen the local supply chain.”

BHGE is the first and only company in the world to provide a fullstream offering covering products, services and digital solutions for the oil and gas sector, from upstream, to midstream to downstream.

BHGE has been a committed partner to Iraq for more than 50 years, with three offices in Iraq – Baghdad, Erbil and the Basra –  and more than 350 employees in country, BHGE continues to deliver its latest technology and expertise to its local customers.

(Source: Baker Hughes)