Iranian firms challenge US, European rivals in Iraq electricity market

Tehran has been seeking to get a bigger share of the huge reconstruction market in Iraq following the end of war against the ISIS. Iranian power companies are the main rivals for American and European firms who are struggling to win big contracts.

17 December 2018
ID : 1702
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Tehran has been seeking to get a bigger share of the huge reconstruction market in Iraq following the end of war against the ISIS. Iranian power companies are the main rivals for American and European firms who are struggling to win big contracts.

Heidarieh Power Plant (also known as Najaf Power Plant) constructed by Irans MAPNA group comprises a gas-fueled unit with a capacity of 162 MWs.

Iran has installed and brought on stream two power plants in Iraq as part of Tehran’s efforts to help rebuild the country destroyed in seven years of war against the ISIS, says vice president of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce.

Alireza Kolahi says Iranian public and private sectors have got the upper hand against their American and European rivals in reconstructing Iraq’s electrical grid. “We are close to European quality if not a 100% there but very very close there at prices that are much below their levels”, said Kolahi in an interview with Iran Chamber Newsroom.  

He added that the two “up and running power plants” are located in Baghdad’s Sadr City as well as the city of Najaf. He also stressed that “many other contracts between [Iran’s power companies and Iraq’s Ministry of Electicity] are in the pipeline”. He didn’t give further details.

Iran has been pushing to get the lion’s share of Iraq’s huge reconstruction market which is heavily contested by American and several European firms. The General Electric and Germany’s Siemens have both signed memoranda of understanding with Iraq Ministry of Electricity to win big contracts to supply power to Iraq.

Last month Joe Kaeser, Siemens’ chief executive, travelled to Baghdad to meet Haider Al-Abadi, the outgoing Iraqi prime minister, and it seemed that a deal was close, Financial Times reported. However, as the contest reached its final stages, Donald Trump’s administration put pressure on Iraq’s new government to let GE win the deal.  

“In a market where major Western companies have signed contracts and supplied equipment but they haven’t actually gone into the country to install the equipment, Iranian companies have been present for over 12 years”, added the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce VP, highlighting that “Iran is one of the few developing countries with total capabilities in the electrical sector, from generation, transmission to distribution with a production of up to 50,000 megawatts of electricity for the domestic market". 

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