x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Iraq powers ahead with contract

Iraq has approved two multibillion-dollar deals to acquire equipment for improving the country's inadequate electricity supply.

Iraq has approved two multibillion-dollar deals to acquire equipment for improving the country's inadequate electricity supply. General Electric (GE), the world's biggest maker of power plant turbines, said it had won a US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) contract to provide turbines capable of supplying 7,000 megawatts (mw) of electricity, which would more than double Iraq's generating capacity.

The US company said it was the largest single order in its history. An Iraqi government official said the cabinet also approved a smaller offer by Siemens, a German company, to supply turbines and other electrical equipment to provide a further 2,000mw of generating capacity, according to Reuters. The government had announced preliminary deals with GE and Siemens in September, suggesting the combined value of the orders could be as high as $7bn. Its final agreement with GE is valued at significantly less than the $4.8bn to $5.4bn anticipated just three months ago, reflecting a sharp drop in the cost of materials and equipment worldwide as major economies have slipped into recession.

GE said its equipment would be installed at "key sites" around Iraq to provide much needed support for the country's electricity grid. @Email:tcarlisle@thenational.ae