Kurdistan Region supplies Iraqi government with electricity: regional minister
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Since late July, the Kurdistan Region has supplied the Iraqi government with 500 megawatts of electricity without burdening the region’s power supply, the regional electricity minister announced in a press conference on Wednesday.
“We have been supplying the Iraqi government with 500 megawatts since late July,” Kamal Mohammad, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) electricity minister, said in a press conference, adding: “has that affected the [the region’s] power supply? No!”
The electricity minister explained that the exported amount of electricity is generated from those units that were not in operation previously.
“The Iraqi government is responsible for providing the necessary fuel to these units as well as covering the investors’ payments,” Mohammad said, according to the contract signed between the regional and federal governments.
“It is an honor [for Kurdistan Region] that it can supply power to Iraq which has been a state since 1920,” minister Mohammad expressed his delight at the region’s success in developing the electricity sector.
The KRG has increased its hours of electricity supply to an average of 20 hours per day in 2020. “Last year , the government-supplied electricity was only between 14-15 hours per day,” the minister noted.
The KRG supplies its power generation with natural gas rather than diesel as the former is cheaper. “Each kilowatt produced by natural gas costs us 6.2 cents while the same amount with diesel costs around 22 cents,” the minister explained as the region generates around 3,000-megawatt electricity while it has the capacity to generate around 6,000.
In mid-July, KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani inaugurated a new steam power station in Erbil province that has the capacity to produce 300 megawatts of energy, which raises the production capacity of the national network in the Kurdistan Region by up to 10 percent.
Power outages, particularly during the Summer season, have been one of the main issues in Iraq that usually sparks mass protests in the Iraqi provinces over the lack of electricity. In order to increase its power supply, the Iraqi government has relied on its neighboring country of Iran.
After toppling the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the Iraqi government has allocated over $60 billion to address the electricity issue without much improvement, the spokesperson for the Iraqi government announced.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany