Iraq’s Besmaya Power Plant: When the Biggest Gets Even Bigger
It’s already the biggest power plant in Iraq, and, now, it’s going to get even bigger.
The Besmaya Power Plant, located southeast of Baghdad, currently is capable of delivering 2,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with another 500 MW expected to come online by late 2019 / early 2020 as the second phase of the project reaches completion. The plant is playing a key role in helping Iraq address its need for reliable electricity to drive economic development.
Now, Mass Energy Group Holding (MGH) and GE Power have signed a new agreement that will help establish Phase 3 of the Besmaya Power Plant, taking the total capacity of the facility up to 4,500 MW. Four GE 9F gas turbines and four generators will help provide power for Phase 3, adding to the eight GE gas turbines and four GE steam turbines comprising key technology for the first two phases of the plant. MGH will supply electricity from the new extension of the plant to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The first 500 MW of Phase 3 is scheduled to be added to the grid as early as next year.
The plant is also one of the country’s most efficient, helping Iraq to increase the electricity generated per unit of fuel consumed, while lowering the environmental impact per megawatt of power produced.
H.E. Dr. Luay Al-Khatteeb, Iraqi Minister of Electricity said, “As the first independent power project in Central Iraq, Besmaya set benchmarks in public-private sector partnerships and contributions to Iraq’s electricity network. It has not only shown that Iraq can be an attractive destination for private sector investments in the energy sector but more importantly, it has played a critical role in helping the government to increase supplies of reliable, efficient and affordable power to meet the needs of our citizens. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with MGH and GE through the further expansion of Besmaya Power Plant.”
“From being among the first to help rebuild power infrastructure in conflict-affected areas such as Diyala and Mosul, to providing equipment and services for Besmaya, Iraq’s first independent power plant, we have not just promised but continuously delivered on our commitment to help power progress for the people of Iraq,” said Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems and Power Services businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
The new agreement is a continuation of GE and MGH’s commitment to powering Iraq forward. Apart from the Besmaya Power Plant, MGH and GE have also brought up to 4,000 MW of power online in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through power plants in Erbil, Duhuk and Sulaimaniya.
GE has a significant presence in Iraq with up to 300 people across the country, up to 90 percent of them local Iraqis. Since 2011, the company has helped to bring 14,000 MW of power online across Iraq, and today, GE-built technologies can generate up to 55 percent of the country’s electricity.
Read more about GE Power’s contribution to economic development Iraq and across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan region.