Iraq’s Electricity Crisis

BY: Danieal Ranjbar

Iraq’s Electricity Crisis

PEJOURNAL – Seventeen years after the US occupation of Iraq, and despite spending tens of billions of dollars in Baghdad to get out of the electricity crisis, Washington’s interests demand that this problem remain unresolved.

Every year in the summer, with rising temperatures and rising electricity consumption and the government’s quota for municipal electricity, large demonstrations are held throughout the country, especially in the southern provinces. This year, large numbers of Iraqis in different provinces have taken to the streets again to protest the poor state of services, unfair distribution of electricity and poor living conditions, calling for the removal of a number of officials and finding solutions to the country’s long-standing problems.

For nearly three decades, Iraq, rich in energy resources, has been unable to solve its electricity problem, and the electricity case has become a confusing puzzle due to various variables that none of the governments that have come to power in Iraq since 2003 has been able to solve. They have to resolve it.

From 1991 to 2003, when the United States destroyed all of Iraq’s infrastructure in a devastating war and then international sanctions, and from 2003 to 2020, when the United States turned on Iraq’s electricity, the country still had 24 hours of full light.

According to an official report from the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, the country needs 23,000 megawatts of electricity to supply electricity 24 hours a day, especially in the hot season when the need for electricity increases.

In the second government of then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (2010-2014), Iraq sought to rely on US General Electric and diversify its sources of electricity, the first step being the purchase of electricity from the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran is currently injecting 1,350 megawatts of electricity into the Iraqi national grid with four transmission lines, in addition to supplying gas to the country’s power plants.

In addition to building two power plants in Baghdad and al-Haydariyah in Najaf, Iran is also building a 3,000-megawatt power plant in Basra, southern Iraq, which has begun equipping the southern provinces with part of that power.

Turkey is another country from which Iraq supplied part of its electricity needs, which before the 2014 events, injected about 500 MW into the Iraqi electricity grid. Turkey’s electricity supply was cut off following an attack by the ISIS terrorist group, but recently, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, consultations have begun with Ankara to supply 650 MW of energy through two power transmission lines in northern Iraq.

Sattar al-Anabi, a representative of the Sairun coalition in the Iraqi parliament, then called for using Egypt’s experience to end the country’s electricity shortage crisis. “The electricity crisis cannot be resolved in a month or two,” Laanabi said of his views on the Iraq electricity crisis. There was a problem similar to the Iraq problem in Egypt, which was solved with the help of the German company Siemens and the construction of three power plants in just one and a half years and the production of 12,000 MW of electricity, and this amount is enough for us to get through the current crisis. Provide the electricity we need in the coming years.

Iraq’s third option was to sign a contract with the German company Siemens. During the visit of the then Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Berlin last year, a contract worth 14 billion and 650 million euros was signed between the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity and the German company.

This is one of the big contracts under which Siemens Germany was to present a comprehensive plan to solve Iraq’s electricity problem, including production, transmission and distribution. According to the agreement, the German company must solve the country’s electricity problem by injecting 11,000 megawatts of electricity into the national grid within four years.

The government of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi signed a contract with the German company Siemens to end the electricity crisis, but faced strong pressure from the United States, which paved the way for the fall of his government.

Because there is a conflict between the German company Siemens and the American General Electric Company, which dominates the Iraqi energy sector and has signed useless, failed and corrupt contracts with Baghdad, which led to the waste of public funds and the failure to advance this case. The Donald Trump administration intervened directly in the case and did not allow the German company Siemens to enter Iraq to enforce the deal, a move that prompted the German ambassador to Baghdad to sharply criticize the White House in protest.

Emphasizing Siemens’ ability to end the electricity crisis in Iraq, the German ambassador to Baghdad explained in a televised interview a month ago that Siemens had signed a roadmap and memorandum of understanding with the government of Abdul Mahdi for major projects in Iraq, including the construction of massive power plants and The use of gas was burning as well as the creation of a complete energy supply system.

He further accused the United States of obstructing Siemens’ efforts to end the electricity crisis in Iraq and acknowledged that Washington was not satisfied with the implementation of the agreements signed with Adel Abdul Mahdi. “Yes, that’s right,” he said in response to a question from the host about the pressure on the Iraqi government to take over the contracts.

The fourth option for Iraqis to meet the electricity shortage and overcome the crisis, which is accompanied by many words and sayings, is to connect to the electricity grid of the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf. The plan has been specifically imposed on Iraq by the Americans and the GCC has been persuaded to abide by it.

There has been a lot of talk in Iraq about this plan and US political motives, including that the plan to connect Iraq to the GCC power grid is in line with the “Deal of the Century” plan and the normalization of relations between Iraq and the Zionist regime. .

According to reports, the United States wants to use this plan to turn the Zionist regime into a center of energy transfer from the Middle East to Europe, and in the future to become the first power in the region in the field of energy. Because the plan conflicts with major energy transfers and global trade routes, many in Iraq worry that their country could become a battleground for global and regional powers by joining the US plan. Accordingly, many experts are deeply concerned about the consequences of joining this plan on the future of Iraq.

In this difficult situation, Iraq is still trying to find a solution to its electricity conundrum, and at the same time it has its eyes on the sky, perhaps the summer season will pass sooner in this country. The electricity puzzle of this country, as in previous years, will go down for about a year as the temperature drops, so that next summer, when the heat will rise again, it will be an excuse for new social protests. In the past, everyone will look for the culprit, while the mystery of this complex mystery is still in the hands of the Americans.