Iraq Hit by Blackouts as Iran Bolsters Electricity Supply

Iraq Hit by Blackouts as Iran Bolsters Electricity Supply
Iraqi engineers monitor controls at the Baghdad South power plant. USAID is funding the repair of Iraq’s nationwide electrical system. Baghdad South like many other power facilities are in great disrepair as Iraqi plant managers were forced by the previous regime to keep them online at any cost often foregoing mainainence and safety procedures. Some engineers were threatened with jail if they failed to keep them running.

Reuters reported that an explosion targeting the Mirsad electrical line in eastern Iraq disrupted the flow of electricity originating in neighbouring Iran, announced the Iraqi electricity ministry. Ministry spokesman Musab al-Mudaris said the explosive device was improvised and had been planted under the power installation.

“Such an act of course targets civilians and their comfort, especially with the rising temperatures,” he told Reuters.

“It also aims to agitate civilians against the Electricity Ministry and in turn the government.”

Iraq is suffering from electricity shortages this summer as temperatures rise to 50 degrees Celsius. On a previous occasion the electricity minister had said that national grid could only supply 11,000 megawatts of Iraq’s 21,000-megawatt peak demand this summer. The plant that was destroyed, in Diyala province, has reduced capacity by 400 megawatts.

Iran has signed its own power plant deal Italy’s Finmeccanica’s engineering unit Fata, for 500 million euro ($543 million), according to Press TV. The deal was signed during Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s visit to Tehran earlier this week, the Italian side announced.


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