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Jordan to Export Electricity to Iraq

Jordan to Export Electricity to Iraq

Monday, 28 September, 2020 - 06:30
Employees walk grounds of Dhi Qar Combined Cycle Power Plant near Iraqi city of Nasiriyah (File photo: AFP)

Jordan signed an agreement to sell electricity to Iraq and connect the two countries' power grids, according to an official Jordanian source.

The agreement was signed via videoconferencing and attended by Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati and her Iraqi counterpart Majed Emarah.

The deal says that Jordan will provide Iraq with 1,000 gigawatt-hours per year in the first phase of the project.

Zawati said that supplying Iraq with electricity will begin after the completion of the construction of al-Risha plant in Jordan, and the establishment of the 300-km power line connecting it with the al-Qaim conversion plant in Iraq.

It will be completed within 26 months of the signing date of the contract, the Minister added.

She highlighted the importance of the Jordanian-Iraqi power grid connection, pointing out that the project enhances the stability and reliability of power networks in both countries.

It serves the intention of establishing a joint power market in the Arab world, which would promote Arab economic integration, announced Zawati.

Baghdad currently imports gas and electricity from Tehran following a US waiver allowing Iraq to import energy sources from Iran without risking sanctions.

Despite rich oil sources, Baghdad relies heavily on Iran in the field of energy and imports a third of its gas and electricity consumption. Iraq is unable to achieve energy self-sufficiency to secure the needs of its 40 million people because of a decaying infrastructure.

The US extended the waiver granted to Iraq for two additional months, an Iraqi official told AFP.

When Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi formed the government in May, Washington granted Baghdad an exemption for a period of four months.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s General Company for Passenger Transport and Delegations at the Ministry of Transport announced preliminary talks to open a new route to Egypt, via Jordan.

Local media quoted the Company’s general director, Karim Hussein, who said there is a priority to open a new route to Egypt.

Hussein said the company's financial performance was profitable between 2018 and until the first two months of 2020, when it faced many losses due to travel bans and lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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