EghtesadOnline: Iraq is willing to boost technical cooperation with Iranian power engineering firms, the Arab country’s electricity minister said.
Luay al-Khateeb made the statement at the opening ceremony of Iran's 1st Electricity Expo and Related Industries in Baghdad on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
"Iraq will draw on Iran's experience in the key power sector," he said, noting that his country wants to become self-sufficient in power generation. To this end we will continue to build closer collaboration with Iranian companies on a priority basis, Financial Tribune quoted Khateeb as saying.
Referring to his country's power grid, he noted, "The network needs renovation and plans call for building power plants and extend distribution and transmission lines. Such expositions help create new opportunities for benefiting from Iran's power capabilities."
The Iraqi minister expressed the hope that negotiations with Iranian enterprises would yield positive results.
Iraq is the biggest importer of electricity from Iran. It needs an estimated 23,000 MW for domestic use. Years of war, internal strife and terror attacks have damaged Iraqi infrastructure in many sectors, namely power generation. Iraqi power deficit is said to be in the region of 7,000 MW.
Khateeb signed an agreement with the managing director of Iran's Organization for Management of Electric Power Generation and Transmission (Tavanir), Muhammad Hassan Motevallizadeh last week in Tehran.
Iran has agreed to annually export 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the Arab neighbor for three years through Iraqi transmission lines in Basra, Diyala and Amarah.
The first contract for Iran’s electricity export to Iraq was signed in 2005 and has been extended ever since.
The Tehran-based media group Donya-e-Eqtesad quoted Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian on Monday as saying that Iran has a 3-year plan to help rehabilitate Iraq's electricity grid.
"We will help them to stand on their own feet because our neighbor's welfare means security for us," he said,
Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports power to Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under swap agreements.
Iran's power generation capacity is around 82 gigawatts.
According to Iran's commercial attache to Iraq, Naser Behzad, Iranian companies can annually export up to $600 million worth of electricity equipment and parts to the neighboring country.
More than 20 Iranian power generation equipment manufacturers and exporters are attending the three-day event in the Iraqi capital.