The Ministry of Electricity (MoE) in Iraq has partnered with American tech giant General Electric for a power up plan, which aims at infrastructure upgrades for the sector in the country and involves contracts worth more than $1bn.

The plan comprises a set of technological solutions and critical electricity generation and maintenance projects throughout the country.

It is expected to add a further 700MW to the Iraqi national grid to meet the rising energy demands during summer.

Financing for the initial works related to the projects, totalling $328m, has already been secured, GE said.

"GE’s power up plan illustrates GE’s commitment to helping Iraq during current economic challenges."

Iraqi MoE spokesperson Mussab Al Mudaris said: "We are committed to strengthening our infrastructure to meet the growing demand for electricity, particularly during peak summer months, including the upcoming summer season.

"GE’s power up plan illustrates GE’s commitment to helping Iraq during current economic challenges.

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"The set of solutions it brings includes upgrades and maintenance projects that will strengthen our power plant’s productivity and efficiency levels.

"Our integrated approach to strengthening the capacity of our national grid aims to support economic growth by delivering assured power supply to meet the needs of infrastructure development as well as domestic consumption."

GE Power Services Middle East and Africa president and CEO Azeez Mohammed said: "The GE power up plan for Iraq, launched under the patronage and guidance of the prime minister and the minister of electricity, with the support of the US embassy in Baghdad, is a unique initiative that underlines our strong commitment to Iraq where we have more than four decades of partnerships in the power sector.

"With the introduction of our Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution and related works for the heavy-duty gas turbines at the power plants, we can significantly scale up capacity while also minimising operational downtime.

"GE’s turnkey approach to the upgrades will help meet the peak summer demand for electricity and enable the MoE’s power plants to sustain higher levels of productivity and operational efficiency in the future."

GE has already initiated shipping equipment for the projects and have started on-site execution for those at the power plants.

Technology upgrades for the facilities include, among others, heavy fuel oil (HFO) conversions, which are expected to boost power production, and also installation of advanced hot gas path components at the gas turbines.