Iran plans to reconstruct Iraq electric power industry in next 3 years: Minister

As Iraq is looking to rebuild after eight years of occupation and war, Iran is also taking measures to get a bigger share of the neighbouring country’s reconstruction market.

3 March 2019
ID : 11862
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Iran has plans to reconstruct Iraq’s heavily-damaged electric power industry during the next three years, the country’s energy minister says as Tehran eyes investing heavily in the Arab country’s infrastructure in post-war era.   

“ٌWe are planning to play the principle role in reconstructing Iraq’s electric power industry in a three-year plan,” Iran Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian was cited as saying by the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.

He added that several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed during a recent visit to Iran by Iraqi Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb. The two officials also extended for another year a contract under which Iraq buys electricity from Iran.

Iraqi Electricity Minister, Luay al-Khateeb (left) shakes hands with Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian following renewing Iran-Iraq power agreement in Tehran (Photo: IRNA, Amin Jalali) 

 

 

Ardakanian stressed that Iran is the only and best source of electric power for neighbouring countries with which it shares a physical border, saying “there isn’t a better alternative for these countries that import Iranian electricity.”  

The Iranian minister also reiterated that Baghdad has cleared over five billion dollars of its debts for importing Iranian electrical power. “We have exported more than six billion dollars worth of electricity to Iraq but 5 billions of which have been cleared,” he noted.

Iran has been facing difficulties to receive the money for its energy exports following the unilateral withdrawal of the US from 2015 Iran nuclear agreement as well as the restoration of sanctions.

Recently, the country’s Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor, Abdolnaser Hemmati, has been making headways to open non-dollar payment channels in a bid to circumvent the US punitive measures. During his recent trip to Iraq, Iran’s financial chief announced the creation of a mechanism based in euro and Iraqi dinar so Baghdad can pay out its debts. “Some measures have been taken and God willingly there won’t be any problem,” said Ardakanian referring to the channel.

Governor of Central Bank of Iran Abdolnaser Hemmati signs agreement with his Iraqi counterpart, Ali al-Alaq about financial agreement., 6 Feb 2019 (Photo: Central Bank of Iran)

 

The Iranian minister also mentioned that his country is prepared to increase the amount of electricity for export to neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Earlier, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Power, Omar Ayub Khan, said Islamabad is looking forward to renew the agreement on 100MW electricity import to Balochistan province. 

 

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