Iraq signs deal with Chinese solar power company to build power plants

The deal follows Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael’s pledge to establish power plants for 7GW worth of solar power generation in early July.

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The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity and Power China Company signed an agreement that would see the establishment of solar power plants in the country.

The plants will eventually yield around 2000 megawatts with a starting point of 750 megawatts in the initial stages of the project.

According to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office, the agreement was signed by the chief of Investments and Contracts department of the Ministry of Electricity, Maha Hamoudy Abdul Jabbar, and a representative from the Chinese electricity firm, Li Zhi.

Details such as the location of the plants remain unknown.

The agreement comes as Iraq has moved to break its electricity dependency on Iran over the past years. Iraq mainly relies on Iranian gas and electricity to fuel its power grids. However, Iraq is subjected to energy shortages when Iran prioritizes domestic electricity use during high usage periods.

Iran sporadically cuts electricity flow to Iraq over the summer and redirects its supplies to its domestic power grids. Electricity demands spiked in both countries during the summer heatwaves earlier in June.

Coupled with longstanding infrastructure problems and sustained terrorist attacks targeting the country’s power lines, Iraq witnessed prolonged electricity outages across the country. The power cuts sparked protests across Basra, Zhi Qar, Nasiriyah, and beyond.

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