EghtesadOnline: Iranian and Iraqi power grids were synchronized Friday following closer collaboration between the two neighbors.
Speaking on the sidelines of the synchronization ceremony at the premises of the Iran Grid Management Company in Tehran, Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said negotiations on electricity cooperation were held with the Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khatteeb last year, IRNA reported.
In 2004 Iran started selling electricity to Iraq. Iran electricity exports to the western neighbor are at its highest level now -- 1,361 megawatts per day.
The new Amarah-Karkheh 400-KV transmission line stretching over 73 kilometers, is now synchronized to provide electricity to both countries. It also paves the way for increasing export to power-hungry Iraq in the near future, according to Financial Tribune.
With synchronization of the two grids, the quality of electricity in Iraq will improve, the minister said.
“Tehran will help reduce power loss in the Arab country, construct more power plants, repair damaged infrastructure, and train Iraqi engineers for three years,” he said, adding that Iran will continue exporting electricity to Iraq as long as it needs and Iranian regulations permit.
He stressed that the bottom-line is to help Iraq attain self-reliance in the key power sector.
According to official data, 82% of Iraq's electricity is generated by thermal power plants that use gas as feedstock. This is expected to reach 84% by 2027.
Iran gas exports to Iraq have reached 4.4 million cubic meters per day, which allows the Arab neighbor to produce at least 1,000 MW of much-needed electricity.
The US has granted Iraq a 120-day waiver that will allow it to continue to import Iranian electricity and natural gas despite the unilateral US sanctions.
It is the fifth waiver the US has issued for Iraq since Donald Trump announced new sanctions on Iran’s energy exports last year. After an initial 45-day waiver, the US State Department issued two 90-day waivers in a row followed by a 120-day waiver in June.
Luay al Khateeb said last month that Iraq now has the capacity to produce 18,000 MW that is still below peak demand that could reach 25,000 MW in summer.
Ardakanian announced on Saturday that Iran and Syria electricity networks would be linked through Iraq in the near future.
At a ceremony attended by Ardakanian and Syrian Electricity Minister Mohammad Zuhair Kharboutli, the two signed agreements to boost cooperation in the electricity sector.
Electricity connection between Iran's network and other regional countries will also be followed up, Ardakanian said.
He underlined the importance of promoting regional cooperation by focusing on both export and import of electricity and the sharing knowledge and experience.
Kharboutli said joint committees would be formed to pursue the implementation of agreements between the two countries.
Referring to the Syrian power infrastructure that has been damaged by about 50% due to war, civil strife, and terror attacks, he said: “Iran's help in rebuilding the network is important”.