x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dubai firm to build Iraq power plant

Iraqi-owned URUK wins an $85 million (Dh312m) contract to build a power station north of Baghdad.

Dubai-based URUK Engineering has won an $85 million (Dh312m) contract to build a power station north of Baghdad to provide electricity for 80,000 homes, Iraq's government spokesman said. The 160 megawatt plant in Taji, just outside the capital, is set to be completed in 15 months, Ali al Dabbagh said in a statement. "The cabinet decided to grant the power plant project in Taji to a UAE-based company at a cost of $84.6 million," Mr al Dabbagh said.

The Iraqi Electricity Ministry spokesman Aziz Sultan, announced URUK, which is owned by Iraqis, was awarded the contract. "The government stipulated that each home would receive two kilowatts, which means the power plant that we will build will provide electricity for around 80,000 homes," Khaled Jamil, a proposal manager at URUK, said. "The government will decide where the electricity generated will be distributed."

Mr Dabbagh said the government had also launched two other tenders for power plants to be built in Karbala and Hilla in southern Iraq. Baghdad has recommended that the Hilla contract, worth $85.6m, be awarded to Montreal-based company SNC-Lavalin. Electricity remains a source of resentment for many Iraqis, who still suffer without 24-hour power throughout the country, more than six years after the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein by a US-led coalition.

Power infrastructure has been regularly targeted and sabotaged by insurgent groups and militias since then. Many of Baghdad's six million residents use electricity generators to supplement government-provided power, but power cuts remain frequent. *AFP