Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Can Iraq stop importing Iranian electricity?

Iraq is planning to meet US pressure to halt Iranian power imports and to solve the problems of electricity sector after continuous protests over power cuts.

Baghdad hopes it will generate enough megawatts to feed demand by the summer season, when cuts can leave millions of people without electricity for up to 20 hours per day.

When Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran in November over the latter's nuclear programme, it granted Iraq a 45-day waiver to reach a road map to stop using Iranian electricity and gas.

Iraq pipes in up to 28 million cubic metres of Iranian gas daily to feed its stations, and also directly imports up to 1,300 megawatts of Iranian-produced electricity.

Now, Baghdad's power ministry has outlined a plan to wean off Iranian electricity within 18 months and resolve some decade-old problems, said the ministry's spokesman Musab Al Mudarris.

Development plans

Iraq produces 15.7 gigawatts of electricity, while 23 gigawatts are required to provide power to citizens, which is likely to rise due to continuous increase in demand.

Shortage of gas supplies makes the matter worse. This has been caused as a side effect of the counter-terrorism operations.

The Iraqi government is aware of how big the challenges are. Therefore, the national development plan from 2018 to 2022 aims to increase production capacity to 53 gigawatts.

Achieving this objective will require the participation of the government and international and local companies.

General Electric is one of Iraq's oldest energy partners. It says that 2.1 gigawatts can be added by next summer, which is enough to power 2.1 million Iraqi homes.

One way to achieve this is to maintain and increase the efficiency of the electricity infrastructure, which is one of the targets of the Ministry of Electricity.

ًWill the plans be effective?

Another energy-saving source is a technology that is inspired by aircraft engines, which are power plants on wheels. They take only months to install. While the goal of these solutions is to ensure a better summer for Iraqis next year, they are not enough in the long term.

The majority of power plants in Iraq operate on a simple cycle. These stations are an easy entry point for generating electricity, but converting these stations to the combined cycle means generating about one third more electricity with the same amount of fuel.

The government believes that moving to the combined cycle adds 4.6 gigawatts, which represents a step in securing eco-friendly electricity. This is the gas associated with oil extraction, which is burned and converted to carbon dioxide. This gas can be converted into electricity generating power.

About 30-40 percent of this gas can be used to generate up to 3.3 gigawatts using modern technologies, one of which is General Electric's H-class gas turbine, which is rated as the most efficient turbine in the world, according to Arab reports.

When talking about efficiency in generating electricity, it means a lot, because increasing the efficiency of operations by only 0.1 percent translates to savings of about $13 million in the use of fuel.
Last Modified: Monday، 31 December 2018 12:49 AM