Iraq has agreed to a $328.8m deal with General Electric (GE) to boost electricity production capacity by 1,000 MW through providing equipment and maintenance for ten power plants across the country, reported Reuters. GE must finish procurement and servicing for the power plants by the beginning of July. Baghdad’s payments to GE will be in installments over three years, starting in 2017, explained electricity ministry, as its 2016 budget was cut by more than half to $1b.
The ministry has asked the government to increase its investment budget for 2016, because with the current austerity measures, the country’s power grid may collapse in the summer peak period. Country’s peak demand can reach to 21,000 MW, which is far above the 13,000 MW that the national grid currently provides, wrote Utilities-ME.
Iraq is one of the top oil producers in the world with 95% of state revenues coming from oil sales, but it is nonetheless suffering a budget deficit, recorded at the level of $22b in 2015, due to the collapse of oil prices and the financial strain of the war against ISIS.