Infrastructure continues to be the key focus of reconstruction efforts in Iraq, as the country grapples with electricity shortages, a scarcity of housing and insufficient transport links. In BMI’s view, improving core economic social infrastructure provision should help place the country on the path to economic normalcy.
The key areas of focus continue to be:
Electricity: Iraq’s power sector has opened up to allow a number of companies to enter the market and reap the potential rewards on offer. Back in May 2010, the government announced a new target for the electricity sector, to generate 27,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity by 2013. With current nameplate capacity standing at around 15,000MW, this includes almost doubling capacity in three years. This target is ambitious to say the least. Tenders have been released to install 28 of the 72 gas turbines ordered in 2009, which is a good start in a sustainable solution. This quarter saw new contracts awarded for the installation of 20 gas turbines, which were purchased from General Electric (GE) in 2008. The contracts, which are worth a combined US$900mn, were awarded to three Turkish companies: Calik Enerjim, Enka Insaat and Eastern Lights.
Transport: In light of growing demand, there are a number of projects under way or in the pipeline to improve transport infrastructure. The rail and port networks appear to be the main areas of interest at present; however, both the airports and the roads are also in great need of investment. In the last quarter, seven government funded road projects were finalised in Missan province, Iraq. Four roads have been newly paved, with three highways also finalised. The roads range from 4km to 27km in length and all lie within the province to the south of Baghdad.