Energy Ministry to Establish Technical University in Iraq

Energy Ministry to Establish Technical University in IraqEnergy Ministry to Establish Technical University in Iraq

A senior official from the ministry of energy announced plans to establish a technical university in neighboring Iraq, which would specialize in the field of electric power industry and renewable energies, Tasnim news agency reported.

During a gathering of Iranian private companies held in Tehran to study strategies for cooperating in development projects in Iraq, Bahram Nezamolmolki, director general of energy ministry’s office for developing exports of technical and engineering services, said Tehran and Baghdad have agreed on the establishment of a technical university by Iran’s energy ministry in Iraq.

“Training courses in the field of electricity, renewable energy and energy research, paving the grounds for further presence of Iranian companies in Iraq’s power industry, and improving investment in the power sector (of Iraq) are among other provisions of the agreement,” he said.

Elsewhere, Nezamolmolki said that from a total of 22 water and electricity projects in foreign countries, 16 were implemented in Iraq "which signifies that the neighboring country has the potential for further investment."

During the meeting, Secretary of Iran-Iraq Economic Relations Development Committee Rostam Qasemi announced that a joint committee from Iran and Iraq has been established to examine contracts of Iranian firms working in Iraq.

In February, Iran and Iraq signed seven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) as part of efforts to boost mutual energy ties between the two neighbors.

The documents were signed during a meeting on February 16 between Iranian First Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.


A joint committee has been established to address issues arising from contracts and tenders signed by Iranian contractors in Iraq, said Ghasemi.

The committee, comprising three representatives from Iran and three from Iraq, will set in motion a dispute resolution mechanism to deal with issues Iranian firms and entities face in Iraq, which include provision of guarantees.

In this regard, meetings were also held with authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is projected that by preparing a "vendor's list" export of Iranian commodities to the autonomous region would be facilitated.

The Central Bank of Iran and Iraqi authorities also agreed to solve the problem of guarantees required from Iranian firms wanting to operate in Iraq. "The objective is to expand Iranian companies' cooperation in water and electricity projects in Iraq, and to this end, positive results were achieved so far."

"The status quo in Iraq notwithstanding, Iranians should endeavor to actively participate in the Iraqi market," Ghasemi said, adding, "Our government will support presence of Iranian private sector in Iraqi water and electricity projects."

The infrastructure in Iraq has been destroyed over the past years. Funds to restore the country is estimated at $400-$500 billion, with water and electricity projects having the priority in development plans.

Iraq is set to increase oil production capacity by two-fold in the next three years, and thereafter a prosperous market will emerge for construction projects through the projected increase in oil revenues.

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports electric power to Armenia, Pakistan, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Armenia supply electricity to Iran under a swap agreement.

"Iraq has one of the most important electricity markets in the region, but we are hardly operating at 10 percent capacity in this neighboring country's 20-$25 billion market," Alireza Kolahi, chairman of Iran Electrical Industry Syndicate (IEIS) said Saturday.

Drilling Agreement

Meanwhile, the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with several private Iraqi firms, paving the ground for participation of NIDC in Iraqi oil and gas development projects.

"Involvement in drilling operations in southern Iraq, especially in Basra, is one the priorities of the NIDC," said the company's managing director, Heidar Bahmani.

Referring to the history of offshore and onshore drilling rigs operating in Iran, Bahmani noted that currently more than 70 percent of drilling equipment and machineries are manufactured domestically.

The NIDC owns 71 rigs, in addition to the five offshore and onshore rigs which are on lease.  It conducts drilling operations in 10 oil-rich provinces across the country.