Iraq must invest $5 billion to stabilize electricity supplies…Posted: August 19, 2009
Iraq’s erratic power supplies could stabilize in 2012 if the government invests up to $5 billion in the construction of new power plants, Electricity Minister Kareem Waheed said.
Waheed made the remarks as the country witnesses some of its worst disruptions in power supplies, extending in some areas for up to 20 hours a day.
Electricity is a scarce commodity in Iraq six years after the U.S. invasion. The government and its U.S. protectors are still trying to exceed output levels under former leader Saddam Hussein but to no avail.
Waheed blamed Kuwait for the latest blackouts, saying the emirate reneged on promises of continuous gas oil supplies for Iraqi plants.
Waheed said the Oil Ministry and its refineries “do not have the capacity and the capability to supply the electricity Ministry with its fuel needs.”
“Iraq will not see stability in power supplies before mid 2012 and on condition that allocations of 4-5 billion dollars are earmarked for the sector,” the minister said.
Waheed said Iraq was buying electricity from Iran at reduced prices.
“Electricity output costs in Iran are half those of Iraq,” he said without elaborating.