Iraq Oil Minister Ihsan Ismail has confirmed that Iraq, which is facing a severe energy crisis, is in talks with Saudi Arabia to buy electricity.
The Iraqi minister told reporters on Sunday that “dialogue with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf connection are on the verge of securing and stabilizing power generation. So far, this issue is under discussion.”
He added: “There is a great deal of response and coordination from the brothers on the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially from Saudi Arabia, and there is a willingness to help Iraq.”
He explained that the negotiations were particularly focused on price, “we have got a price and we hope it can be improved.” He talked about many criteria related to how to determine the price, especially “the amount of electrical energy to be imported and the duration of these imports, if they are more than 365 days, or six months in summer and the height of winter.”
Iraq has the largest oil and gas reserves and is the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but has been facing a severe energy crisis for decades due to war, corruption and deteriorating infrastructure. Electricity, which increases dissatisfaction in the country.
It currently generates 15,000 MW of electricity, which is far less than 30,000 MW each year to meet its peak summer requirements, the minister said.
Demand is expected to increase in the future in a country where the United Nations expects to double its population by 2050.
Iraq, with a population of 40 million, is one-third dependent on Iran for its gas and electricity supplies, as the decline in its infrastructure prevents it from achieving energy independence. Iraq owes $ 4 billion in gas supplies to Iran.
Iran has repeatedly cut off gas and electricity from Iraq to pay its arrears.
Iraq has also entered into agreements to establish solar power plants. According to Minister Ismail, he wants to sign a number of agreements that will allow him to generate 7,500 MW by 2023 and 12,500 MW in the next phase.
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