Iraq approves 7.5 GW solar power project as it looks to reduce Iran electricity imports

Iraq approves 7.5 GW solar power project as it looks to reduce Iran electricity imports
Iraq plans to award solar contracts through 2025 to generate up to 25 percent of its power needs. (Reuters)
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Updated 01 September 2021

Iraq approves 7.5 GW solar power project as it looks to reduce Iran electricity imports

Iraq approves 7.5 GW solar power project as it looks to reduce Iran electricity imports
  • Iraq signed 2 GW solar plant contract with PowerChina last week

RIYADH: Iraq’s cabinet approved today the Ministry of Electricity’s plan to build a 7.5 GW solar power project in the country, Asharq reported.

Iraq has said it will award 10-12 GW of solar power projects through 2025 as it seeks to generate up to 25 percent of its power needs from the sun.

Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity signed on Aug. 25 a contract with China’s state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) to build its first solar power plants with a capacity of 2 GW.

Iraq has been exploring ways of becoming less reliant on energy imports, following increasing pressure by the US to loosen ties with Tehran.

The US State Department early in August granted another sanctions waiver allowing Iraq to import Iranian electricity until the end of this year as it struggles with frequent power outages and lack of domestic generation capacity.

The cabinet also approved today transferring all unused money from the nation’s electric energy import fund, estimated at $300 million, to cover part of the deficit in fuel purchase allocations.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi called today for the activation of the Future Generations Fund, the cabinet said in a statement.

Iraq is working to establish a fund to help ween the economy off dependence on oil, which will be financed through the budget surplus, the prime minister’s adviser Mazhar Saleh has said previously.

An increase in the capital of the Industrial Bank of Iraq by 150 billion Iraqi dinars ($103 million) was also approved during the session today.