Iraq has taken a step forward to rebuilding its power sector after it signed an agreement with German company Siemens on Tuesday to implement the start of a new roadmap.
According to a statement by Siemens, the agreement builds on an “exclusive” memorandum of understanding which Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and the German energy company signed in October 2018.
The agreement “outlines the specific projects, associated budgets, and timelines for the execution phase, covering all essential elements of the electrification of Iraq,” the statement added.
The document was signed during Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s trip to the German capital of Berlin where he met with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Siemens said its roadmap includes “a series of short, medium, and long-term plans designed to meet the reconstruction goals of Iraq and support the country’s economic development.”
Iraq is still suffering from a chronic, severe shortage of power supply, despite successive governments reportedly spending close to USD 50 billion on the sector since 2003.
Summer months in the nation have proved to be the most trying times for various administrations in Baghdad since 2003 as they have struggled to provide consistent power in the sweltering heat to citizens whose increased summer use of air-conditioning and other appliances strains the grid’s capacity.
Mass protests began last July in the city of Basra and spread across several southern and central provinces, including the capital, and resulted in at least dozens of deaths.
In addition to demands for improved services, electricity primary among them, other central issues of the movement have been poor infrastructure, lack of employment, and government corruption.