With Demand Rising, 3,000 MW of New Electricity is Big News in Iraq

With Demand Rising, 3,000 MW of New Electricity is Big News in Iraq

October 11, 2015 at 12:10pm

There’s no doubt that the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has its eye on building up the country’s electricity-generating capacity in the face of growing demand. After all, it has a live dashboard that constantly updates how much its power plants are producing across the country.

With current production supplying about half the current estimated national demand, there are many opportunities to grow supply.

That’s why a new 3,000 MW power plant to be built near Bagdad is big news. Powered by GE’s 9F.03 gas turbine, of which there will be eight, and GE’s C7 steam turbine, two of which will be used, the plant will generate enough electricity, not only to fill the current 2,000 MW deficit in the capital’s electricity need, but also to serve hundreds of thousands of residential and business customers across the country.

To be developed in two phases of 1,500 MW each, the plant will provide electricity equivalent to meet the needs of 5 million Iraqi homes. With power at the heart of economic development, as well as quality of life, the new power will provide a breath of fresh air for industry, manufacturers, business owners and citizens.

Firsts for Iraq

What’s more, the new plant to be located in Basmaya, about 30km from Bagdad, is unique in several ways. It’s the first-of-its-kind independent power producer (IPP) deal between Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and Kurdistan-headquarters Mass Global Investment Co., and it’s the first IPP project by Mass Global outside Kurdistan.

This move highlights the growing collaboration among the nation’s power sector players to meet the country’s supply-demand gap. Even the project’s IPP model is relatively new in Iraq, with the Basmaya plant one of the first under the government’s new IPP regime.

The combined-cycle gas-turbine plant also reflects the ministry’s strategy to generate electricity more efficiently by moving away from traditional oil-fired plants — a goal encouraged by the IMF.

The new deal builds on GE’s partnership with Mass Global, which extends to its use of GE technology in its Kurdistan plants, most recently including its selection of GE steam turbines to increase the efficiency and output of the Erbil Power Plant. GE is supplying steam turbine equipment that are being used to convert the Erbil plant from simple to combined-cycle operation and boost plant output by 500 MW — equivalent to the needs of approximately 100,000 Iraqi households.

For more than four decades, GE has been a committed partner to the Ministry of Electricity and to the nation’s broader infrastructure development projects.

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