Iraq Seeks to Boost Power Capacity with Gas Deals

11 May 2010 (Last Updated May 11th, 2010 18:30)

Iraq seeks to boost its power generation capacity to 27,000MW in four years, as it opens its gas sector to foreign investment. Iraq's Electricity Minister Karim Waheed told Reuters the country will need to invest at least $3bn to $4bn a year to reach the target. Achieving the

Iraq seeks to boost its power generation capacity to 27,000MW in four years, as it opens its gas sector to foreign investment.

Iraq's Electricity Minister Karim Waheed told Reuters the country will need to invest at least $3bn to $4bn a year to reach the target.

Achieving the target will depend mainly on finalising a venture with Shell to capture and use gas now being burned in the southern oilfields around Basra, according to Waheed.

"This depends on both the gas fields – the announcement for the third round – and on capturing the burned gas deal with Shell," he said in an interview on the sidelines of an energy conference in Qatar, reports Reuters.

The country will have to rethink its power plans, if the agreement with Shell does not work out, he added.

At present, Iraq has sent a final draft of an agreement between South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi to the cabinet for approval, according to Reuters.

According to Waheed, Iraq's available power capacity is at 9,000MW and installed capacity at 11,000 to 12,000MW and demand is for at least 12,000MW.

The country's power generation suffers due to frequent fuel shortages, constant need for maintenance and lack of funds.