China, Saudi firms set to win $204m Iraq turbine deal
Basra, Iraq, April 5, 2011
China's Machinery Engineering Corp and Saudi-based Dao Al-Jomaih Group tendered the low bid of $204.4 million to install four gas turbines in Iraq's southern Basra province, the electricity ministry said.
Salam Qazaz, Iraq's deputy electricity minister, said the units will have a total generating capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) and will be installed at a power plant in Al-Najibiya, a district in Basra, Iraq's southern oil hub.
The units are to be installed within 17 months, he added.
"Final approval of the deal will be decided after we study the technical aspects of the tender," Qazaz told reporters in Basra.
The bid beat tenders submitted by Swiss engineering group ABB, Turkey's Enka Insaat and South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, the ministry said.
Eight years after the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, Iraq's national grid still supplies only a few hours of power each day. Intermittent electricity is one of the public's top complaints.
During the winter, peak demand in Iraq is around 11,500 MW, while supply including power generated in Iraq and imported from its neighbours is around 6,700 MW, according to the electricity ministry.
Demand last summer -- when temperatures frequently exceeded 50 Celsius and air-conditioning units ran constantly -- was estimated at around 14,000 MW. Demand next summer is expected to exceed 15,000 MW. - Reuters