Prime Minister Barham Salih today announced the signing of a Cooperation Agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and RWE.
The RWE Group is a leading European utilities company headquartered in Essen, Germany. It has extensive experience in the building, modernisation, and upgrading of energy infrastructure.
Under the agreement, RWE will provide assistance to the KRG in the development of a gas transmission and distribution network (including grid planning), and training aimed at increasing technical skills of the citizens of the Kurdistan Region.
“This is a major step forward in our planning,” the Prime Minister said. “RWE will bring the know-how and insights of one of Europe’s most important gas distribution companies to Kurdistan. We will be planning and designing our local gas transmission and distribution network using the most modern techniques.”
The Prime Minister added, “Kurdistan is blessed with much gas. Before any export, our gas will be used to meet the needs of the people of the Kurdistan Region and neighboring areas. These resources are being developed for the people of Iraq in accordance with the Constitution. Gas not needed at home will be available for export.”
The KRG Minister of Natural Resources, Dr Ashti Hawrami said in London in June that the Government anticipates that the Kurdistan Region will have gas reserves of between 100 and 200 trillion standard cubic feet – more than enough to meet all domestic requirements and to generate substantial revenues for Iraq from the sale of excess gas to Turkey and Europe.
Gas from the Kurdistan Region is expected to be exported via the Nabucco pipeline, which will directly link major fields in the Caspian region and the Middle East to European consumer markets. At a meeting in Ankara this week, the Nabucco project steering committee confirmed plans to source gas from two feeder lines in Georgia and Iraq.
Speaking after meeting with Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, Stefan Judisch, CEO of RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, said: “I am delighted to have been able to discuss with the Minister of Natural Resources Mr Hawrami the ways in which we can take forward rapidly the various actions set out in the agreement which we have signed. This is to the mutual benefit of the region and RWE.”
He added: “We hope to very soon reach agreement on supplies of gas from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This will underpin strong progress we are making elsewhere on preparing construction of the Nabucco pipeline in the near future. I have been heartened by the genuine welcome my colleagues and I have received in Erbil, and struck by the real sense of security and strong entrepreneurial spirit in its business community. This is a part of the world in which companies like ours can and will do business”.
(Sources: RWE, Kurdistan Regional Government)