Iraq is hooking up to the GCC’s power grid.
The nation has signed a deal for a 300-kilometre transmission line that would stretch from Kuwait to Faw, a port in southern Iraq.
According to Iraq’s energy ministry, the transmission line will be financed by the GCC. It is expected to provide up to 500 megawatts of power by 2020 – about one-thirtieth of Iraq’s current power generation of about 15 gigawatts.
According to the GCC Interconnection Authority, the transmission line will cost an estimated $220m.
Iraq currently generates about 15 gigawatts of power, far below its estimated need of 24 gigawatts. To compensate for the shortfall, the nation has been in talks with multiple countries and companies about electricity imports.
Iraq recently signed a deal with Germany’s Siemens to repair power plants in the northern city of Baiji damaged by several years of conflicts. The deal, worth en estimated $1.3bn, will restore up to 1.7 gigawatts of electricity generation to Iraq.
The Iraqi government has also been in talks with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to import electricity. It also imports electricity from Iran.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will need to invest $209bn in the power sector over the next five years to support demand, a July report issued by the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) found.
Between 2019 and 2023, APICORP estimates that investment in the region’s energy sector could reach $1 trillion, with the power sector accounting for the largest share at 36 per cent.
Overall, the MENA region will require the addition of 88GW by the end of 2023 to meet demand growth, the report said.