Iraq's Deputy Premier for Energy, Hussein al-Shahrestani, laid the foundation stone for the new 1250 megawatt al-Khairat power station in Karbala, which will add about 20% to power production in Iraq if completed as scheduled in April 2013.
Iraqi energy officials on Sunday marked the start of work on a 1,250 megawatt power plant with Turkey's Calik Enerji as the power-starved country seeks to boost its electricity output.
The project is being undertaken by Turkish company Calik Enerji, which won the $445.5 million contract in October. The cost is to be repaid based on a deferred payment system as agreed with the Turkish government, Zahi Samit al-Da’mi, the chairman of the Karbala Provincial Council’s power & fuel committee, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
The plant consists of 10 gas turbines, each producing 125 MW, giving 1,250 MW in total. The turbines are among 56 gas turbines the ministry purchased from General Electric in 2008, Sabeeh Qadu, general manager for gas projects in Iraq's Electricity Ministry, told Reuters.
"Today we are celebrating by putting in the foundation of building one of the biggest power generation plants in Iraq," Hussain al-Shahristani, the deputy prime minister for energy, told reporters at the site where the plant will be built in Khairat, 30 km southeast of Kerbala.
A Turkish official said Calik Enerji had so far completed a soil survey at the site, which currently employs 100 people, including engineers and technicians. Around 60 of the 100 employees are Turkish.
Calik also won a $388.5 million contract in March to build a 750 KW power plant near Mosul in northern Iraq.
A subsidiary of Calik Holdings, GAP Construction, will carry out a $195 million project rehabilitating a 19-kilometer expressway between Baghdad International Airport and the city center, as well as landscaping works on a plot with a total area of 1.6 million square meters.
(Sources: Reuters, Hurriyet, Turkish Weekly)