Ukef pledges $1bn towards Iraq reconstruction with power projects

Ukef pledges $1bn towards Iraq reconstruction with power projects
Ukef will support a $1bn programme to support reconstruction projects in Iraq [representational image].
Published: 30 January 2019 - 9:20 a.m.
By: Jack Ball

The UK Government has pledged $1.02bn for local firms to develop two power stations in Iraq and restore “a number of electricity substations around the country”.

UK Export Finance (Ukef), the country’s export credit agency, said $620m in financing will go to support two contracts between GE and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity, through which two power stations will be built in Samawa and Dhi Qar, northwest of Basra in southern Iraq.

Ukef has already provided initial support for the project, and its additional capital will support the main construction phase, involving further procurement from UK suppliers through GE sub-contractor, Enka UK.

Funds worth $400m will also be made available to support a project by GE’s Grid Solutions business to develop 14 sub-stations across Iraq.

GE will build the substations and supply equipment such as transformers and other machine parts to rehabilitate existing substations, helping to bring power to areas with significant shortages.

Ukef said the project “will play a key role in bolstering the capacity of the Iraqi electricity grid, [and] the two new power stations, located in the Basra region, will give citizens the access they need to critical infrastructure”.

Speaking on the news, Yavuz Akturk, director at Enka UK, said: “Power shortages continue to halt Iraq’s reconstruction and addressing this scarcity is crucial to the country’s future. As Enka, we have taken a significant role in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, and with these projects we will help the people in the country which are in urgent need for electricity."

“The scale of these contracts illustrates the demand for British expertise in the utilities sector and the level of support the government can give to British businesses looking to make the most of similar opportunities across the globe,” added Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion.

This latest announcement follows the agreement between the governments of the UK and Iraq signed in March 2017, which the UK Government said re-affirmed the country’s “commitment to Iraq’s continued economic development”.

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