Iraq's Cabinet to sign with Siemens and GE for investing in the Energy sector

Iraq's Cabinet to sign with Siemens and GE for investing in the Energy sector

Shafaq News/ On Tuesday, the Iraqi Cabinet agreed on memorandums of cooperation with two American and German companies in the energy sector.

PM Mohammad S. Al-Sudani's media office stated that the government gave authority to the Minister of Electricity, Ziad Fadhel, to sign two Memorandum of Cooperation in the Energy sector in Iraq with the US's General Electric International Inc and Germany's Siemens Energy AG.

Earlier, US ambassador Alina Romanowski said the United States is willing to join hands with Iraq to build a "world-class" electricity system in the war-scarred country.

"Iraqis deserve a diverse, modern economy with good paying jobs," she tweeted, "to make that a reality, it is essential to build a world-class electricity system."

"The US stands ready to partner with Iraq's Minister of Electricity, Ziyad Ali Fadhil, to undertake this important endeavor," She said.

Nearly two decades after the fall of Saddam Hussein's statues, the Iraqi government still struggles to provide its society with electricity around the clock.

The Iraqi electricity sector suffered even before the 2003 invasion, but the last 19 years have weakened it due to endemic corruption and gross negligence. Moreover, the plans put forth by the consecutive governments to tackle the lack of electricity have more often proven an easy way for officials to embezzle funds through lucrative contracts than a way to improve the lives of Iraqi citizens. As a result, Iraq has become more reliant on Iran to meet its electricity demands instead of leveraging its own resources.

Widespread electricity outages are part of daily life in Iraq and affect citizens regardless of class. To compound this issue, the gap between available electricity and state-wide demand is set to widen in the future.

The past five years have already witnessed a growing disparity between the electricity supplied by the government and the electricity demanded by the Iraqi people; so far, Iraqi electricity consumption—which grew nearly 30% during this period—has outpaced the government's efforts to meet surging demand.

In addition to gas supplies, Iraq also relies on Iran for nearly a third of its electricity, which has also been subject to interruptions.

For instance, when Iran reduced gas supplies to Iraq from 50 million cubic feet to 8.5 million cubic feet because of unpaid bills, widespread electricity shortages struck central and southern Iraq.

Though Baghdad has sought to diversify its electricity supply through overtures to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait, progress on these fronts is not sufficiently developed.

Iraq is under increasing pressure from the US to wean itself off electricity and gas imports from Iran, which has been subject to US sanctions since 2018.

The US has issued Iraq a series of sanctions waivers to continue importing Iranian energy but has warned the waivers could end if Baghdad does not make serious progress toward finding other fuel and power sources.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon