Promises of Reliable Electricity Offer Little Reassurance

By Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

As the hot weather sets in, promises to provide round-the-clock electricity are making headlines in Iraqi news programs and newspapers. This comes after the hardships Iraqis have undergone in recent years as a result of inadequacies in the electricity grid.

During the summer, when temperatures can reach 50 degrees celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), the electricity supply is on for less than two hours per day.

Iraq is facing a pronounced shortage in electricity due to outdated and worn-out infrastructure. The electricity sector has been depleted by wars, the economic blockade of the 1990s and heinous violence in the aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s fall, in addition to corruption that has infected the majority of governmental institutions.

During a visit to southern Basra, Minister of Electricity Karim al-Jumaili said that the electricity crisis would come to an end in October of this year. He promised that “citizens will be provided with electricity 24 hours per day.”

Jumaili pledged that the upcoming summer would be much better than the last, as new power-generating units come online.

He said, “In 2013, Iraq will generate 15,000 megawatts of power and will become energy self-sufficient. In 2015, the production will be 20,000 megawatts and will allow Iraq to export power to other countries.”

Several days ago, Jumaili affirmed that the ministry has been working on power transmission and distribution by setting up transmission stations in all provinces.

At the beginning of the month, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to guarantee the supply of electricity “round the clock” this year.

Comments are closed.