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Siemens begins upgrading Iraqi power generation sector

Siemens pips GE
German technology conglomerate Siemens announced on Wednesday kicking off a plan to upgrade the Iraqi power generation sector.

Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity signed an implementation agreement with Siemens for a series of projects that could be worth as much as $14 billion and will overhaul Iraq’s beleaguered power generation sector.

The agreement, signed by Iraq’s Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb and Siemens AG President Joe Kaeser, “includes the addition of new and highly-efficient power generation capacity, rehabilitation and upgrade of existing plants and the expansion of transmission and distribution networks,” Siemens stated in a press release.

The first phase consists of three contracts valued at 700 million euros ($785 million), according to Siemens. The three contracts are construction of a 500 megawatt gas-fired plant in al-Zubaidiya, Wasit province, upgrading 40 gas turbines, and installing 13 substations and 34 transformers across the country. 

Emerging from years of war, Iraq has a chronic shortage of electricity and relies on imports from Iran. One factor that sparked deadly protests during the scorching heat last summer in Basra was power outages. 

Siemens signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq in October to explore proposals from the German company for Iraq’s electricity sector, but it faced tough competition from American GE, which inked its own memo with Baghdad at the same time.