German conglomerate Siemens is expanding its operations in the Kurdistan Region in cooperation with the Erbil-based KAR Group company, according to a report by Trade Arabia News.
Siemens has expanded its existing contract with the KAR Group to provide comprehensive operations and maintenance (O&M) for two newly added units at the Khormala power plant, located 25 kilometers south of Erbil.
The 930 MW power plant, which uses natural gas, supplies over three million people in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region with electricity.
The power plant also meets almost 30 percent of the energy demand targeted by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“The extension of the service agreement is set to improve operational flexibility, availability, and performance of gas turbines for the next 15 years,” said a Siemens statement.
Energy needs in Iraq and Kurdistan are growing faster than the supply, with the current power demand standing at 21 GW, according to the Mena Power Report 2017.
The KRG plans to increase capacity by building new power plants and increasing the efficiency of existing facilities, it said.
“The plant is truly a landmark project, supporting the development goals of the Kurdistan region,” said Gianluigi Di Giovanni, senior executive vice president of Siemens Power Generation Services in the Middle East.
“That’s why we are proud to expand our collaboration with the KAR Group to deliver reliable and stable electricity supply to people’s homes,” he added.
Due to the 2014 financial crisis which hit the Kurdistan Region, the work of several power stations had been suspended as gasoline supplies to companies were irregular.
Power shortages and outages have also been a common occurrence for people in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
The strain of the fight against the Islamic State (IS), hosting roughly two million displaced persons, and the global drop in oil prices affected the KRG’s ability to fully support the delivery of around the clock electricity to citizens of the Region.
The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity is also expected to sign a contract with two private companies in Kurdistan to supply electricity to the liberated areas in Mosul.