Unit No.4 of the Hartha Thermal Power Station has re-started operations and is supplying 200MW of electricity to the grid, following rehabilitation works funded with the Japanese ODA loan.
A completion ceremony was held on 7th September, attended by Mr. Adel Kadhim Jaryan, Deputy Minister of Electricity, Representatives of Basra Governorate, officials of Ministry of Electricity, H.E. Mr. Fumio Iwai (pictured), Japanese Ambassador to Iraq, and Mr. Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Iraq Office.
JICA described the re-start as “well ahead of the original construction schedule, thanks to outstanding endeavours jointly made by Ministry of Electricity and the Contractor (Joint Venture of Mitsubishi-Hitachi Power Systems [MHPS] and [Turkish firm] GAMA).”
The Hartha Thermal Power Station (HTPS), with four units of 200 megawatts (MW) each, was originally built to generate 800 MW in total. The power station, one of the largest in Basrah Governorate, was built in 1982 by the Japanese companies with Japan’s financial assistance. However, due to aging as well as serious damage during past conflicts, two of the four units have been inactive for several years.
The remaining two units — No. 1 and No. 4 — have continued in operation due to the maintenance efforts of the staff of Ministry of Electricity, in spite of huge deterioration in their generation capacities and frequent disruptions.
JICA signed an ODA loan agreement in the amount of 20,224 million yen ($194 million) with the Iraqi Government on 23rd February, 2015, to facilitate the rehabilitation of Unit No. 4, and has financially supported the project since then. The loan has an interest rate 0.8 percent per annum for the rehabilitation works, and 0.01% per annum for the consulting services, and its repayment period is 15 years including a grace period of 5 years.
The project increases the annual power generation of the Unit from 860 GWh to 1,489 GWh, which is equivalent to the total electricity consumption of 800,000 Iraqi people for one year; it also helps to stabilize electricity supply.
Assistance to the electricity sector is one of the pillars of JICA’s cooperation to Iraq. In addition to support for Unit No. 4, JICA also signed an ODA loan on August 5, 2017 for rehabilitation of Unit No. 1 of Hartha Thermal Power Station.
Since 2008, JICA has signed seven loan agreements for electricity projects in Iraq including the one signed on August 5, 2017, amounting to 196.648 billion Japanese yen (equivalent to approximately $1.8 billion) in total. These loans are used for the rehabilitation and development of four power plants, and transmission and distribution facilities, all over the country.
In addition to the financial cooperation, more than two thousand Iraqi officials have participated in the JICA’s training programs for capacity building of the electricity sector since 2003.