Iraq signs green energy deal with Norwegian companies
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq signed a green energy deal with a number of companies led by the Norwegian Scatec ASA on Thursday to produce 525 megawatts of electricity for the electricity-deprived country.
The head of Iraq's National Investment Authority, Suha al-Najar, said on the sidelines of the contract signing event that a coalition of companies, including the Norwegian Scatec, Orascom, and Al-Bilal, would spearhead a massive clean energy project.
"The cost of the contract will be up to $500 million," Najar noted, adding "the project is one of the important ones for the Iraqi economy."
The Deputy Chairman of the Ministerial Council for Energy and Minister of Oil, Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, praised the move saying it's a shift towards clean energy, sustainable development, and reducing reliance on oil and gas.
"This contract is the third after signing a contract with Total and the Egyptian-Emirati Company for clean energy production," Abdul-Jabbar explained.
Scatec ASA Director Abdul-Aziz al-Yathribi said that "the coalition was able to obtain this project through the tender put forward by the Ministry of Electricity, at the lowest energy price."
"The coalition signed two projects to produce energy through solar energy in the Alexandria region in Babil and Karbala," the director noted. "The project will provide thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities for Iraqis, in addition to enabling Iraq to obtain renewable energy in the Arab world and the world."
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 the toppling of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, Baghdad has allocated over $60 billion to address the electricity issue without much improvement, the spokesperson for the Iraqi government announced recently.