German industrial firm Siemens has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to add 11 gigawatts of power generation capacity in Iraq, after rival GE signed a similar agreement worth $15 billion last week.
The Siemens agreement with the country’s electricity ministry comes after intense speculation that US firm GE had beaten the German company to secure Iraqi power contracts, with pressure from the US Trump administration.
The MoU will examine “a series of short, medium and long-term plans to meet the reconstruction goals of Iraq and support the country’s economic development”, Siemens said on Sunday.
The agreement, which was signed by the Siemens president and chief executive Joe Kaeser and Iraqi electricity minister Qasim Al Fahdawi, follows an earlier presentation of a power rehabilitation roadmap by the German company. Siemens had proposed to add up to 50 per cent of current generating capacity as part of a $15bn deal presented to the federal government in Baghdad.
The company had mapped out a phased overhaul of Iraq’s energy infrastructure, with the first scheme set to affect up to 300,000 people and be completed in three months. Medium to long-term plans for the sector could take 10 to 24 months.
“We are ready to start and look forward to working closely with the Iraqi government to immediately produce noticeable improvements for the Iraqi people,” said Mr Kaeser.