Energy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani has promised that Iraq’s electricity crisis will end in 2013.
AKnews reports that he said only a few more energy plants were necessary to end the electricity shortage.
“Iraq will have approximately 7,000 MW more after the completion of the Zubaydiah plant, the Khairat plant in Karbala, one in Mosul and another one in Dizlat,” Shahristani said.
Demand for electricity in Iraq is estimated at around 14,000 MW; according to government figures, the energy currently available to Iraq stands at around 9,000 MW.
According to a report issued by the International Energy Development Organization, Iraq would need to spend $12bn USD (14.1tr IQD) if it wants to produce enough electricity to meet the current needs.
“The projects of the Electricity Ministry to build gas stations are expensive,” said Nidaa Fakher, an official from the Iraqi branch of the organization. “However, these measures are still not enough.”
He added that Iraq would need 17,000 MW instead of the current peak demand of 14,000 MW, if the industrial sector was activated.
According to AKnews, the report criticized the Iraqi government for two reasons. First, Iraq lacks a central distribution center for electricity that would resolve the problem of the imbalanced distribution of electricity. Secondly, Iraq does not allow the private sector to implement investment projects to save energy.
According to the parliamentary committee assigned to investigate allegations of corruption against the Electricity Ministry, there is clear evidence of corruption in at least 17 contracts that were dealt with in the ministry.
“The committee recommends to question Electricity Minister Hussein al-Shahristani’“, said Uday Awwad, a member of the committee.
Shahristani took over the Electricity Ministry after his predecessor Raad Shallal was charged with allegations of corruption and had to resign. Mr Shallal was allegedly involved in corrupt contracts worth $1.7 billion USD (2 trillion IQD).