Press Release: Working with the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity (MOE) under the guidance of the Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi and the patronage of the Minister of Electricity, H.E. Dr. Luay al-Khateeb, GE Power continues to support Iraq in meeting its goals to strengthen the country’s energy ecosystem.
Speaking at the “Powering Iraq Conference” held in Baghdad on July 10, 2019, Joseph Anis, President & CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems & Power Services businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia discussed the challenges still facing Iraq’s power sector and highlighted various solutions GE could provide to address them. These include integrated gas to power projects equipped with GE’s HA turbines, which have already delivered two world records for combined cycle efficiency and can help Iraq produce up to 3,300 MW of power by utilizing gas that is currently flared. Another priority is the conversion of simple cycle power plants to combined cycle to help Iraq generate up to 4,000 MW of additional power using the same amount of fuel. Iraq also needs to further strengthen its transmission and distribution system and GE is already helping to do so by setting up new substations and overhead lines. Furthermore, the company can help Iraq unlock financing through its global network of international financial institutions, export credit agencies and others and has in fact already facilitated the Iraqi Ministry of Finance to unlock up to $2 billion of funding for energy sector projects.
“At GE, we take the responsibility of addressing Iraq’s energy needs seriously and are committed to keep supporting the government, as well as our other customers and partners in the country to power Iraq forward,” said Joseph Anis. “The successful execution of our projects with the Ministry of Electricity is a reflection of both our industry-leading solutions and the hard work of hundreds of GE Iraq employees who are not just promising change but delivering it every day across the country, from Zakho to Basra.”
Most recently, the MOE and GE replaced a damaged generator at Amara Power Plant, enabling the restoration of another 125 MW of power to the national grid to help meet electricity demand in summer 2019 and beyond. GE’s scope of work included removal and storage of the old generator; inspection of auxiliary systems; and the transportation, installation and commissioning of the new generator. The project was successfully completed ahead of schedule in the short span of less than three months after contract signature, without any safety incidents. Furthermore, over 30 MOE officials were trained on EHS requirements and principles, enabling them to work more safely at the site in the future.
Musaab al-Mudarris, Director of the Media Department of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity said, “We are delighted to work with international experts who have demonstrated a clear commitment and capacity to strengthen Iraq’s electricity infrastructure. GE Power has been a long-term partner to Iraq over the years, and the fast-track completion of the Amara project is another example of our successful collaborations. Each additional megawatt of electricity generated in Iraq can help to power up to a thousand homes and by continuing our efforts to keep adding more power to the grid, we can drive real progress for the Iraqi people.”
Looking ahead, the MOE and GE are working to deliver the Salman Pak, Ammari and Baladiyat 132 kilovolt (kV) substations this summer to help the city of Baghdad receive more stable electricity by evacuating and distributing power through the national gird. Another 11 substations spread across the provinces of Ninawa, Salah Al Din, Al Anbar, Karbala, Baghdad, Qadisiyyah and Basra are currently scheduled for delivery between 2020 – 2021.
GE is also helping Iraq to operate its heavy fuel oil (HFO) based power generation assets more efficiently. For example, about 25 percent of the country’s installed capacity is fueled by HFO at present. However, less than a quarter of this existing fleet is operational due to limitations in maintenance, deterioration over time and damages from conflict. There is a significant potential for additional capacity by using upgrades and new equipment. As a leading global provider of steam power solutions for both building new power plants and providing services to existing ones, GE can help the MOE better utilize these assets.
GE has up to 300 employees across Iraq, most of them local Iraqis and the company has supported the development of critical infrastructure across the country for over 50 years. Since 2011 alone, GE Power has helped to bring 14,000 MW of electricity online across Iraq, including in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Today, GE technologies supply up to 55 percent of Iraq’s power, 4,000 GE Healthcare technologies are deployed across Iraq and GE and joint venture engines equip up to 90 percent of Iraqi Airways’ aircraft.