Mapna Will Increase Iraq Power Capacity by 20%

Mapna Will Increase Iraq Power Capacity by 20%Mapna Will Increase Iraq Power Capacity by 20%

Iran's Mapna Group has signed a $2.5 billion contract with the Iraqi Shamara Holding Group to provide technical and engineering services for the construction of a 3,000-megawatt power plant in Basra in southern Iraq.

The contract was concluded after a year and a half of negotiations and following Mapna's implementation of Najaf Power Plant project near the southern city of Najaf and Al-Sadr Gas Power Plant in the city of Baghdad.

"The contract has been endorsed by the Iraqi government," Abbas Aliabadi, managing director of Mapna, was quoted as saying by ILNA. "This is the first time the Iraqi government has directly guaranteed a contract."

Rumaila's combined-cycle power plant will comprise 12 gas turbines and six steam turbines. The project includes the manufacture and procurement of 18-MW gas turbines, 160-MW steam turbines, generators, power and control systems, and heat recovery boilers.

These will be provided by Mapna Turbine Engineering and Manufacturing Co. (Tuga), Mapna Turbine Blade Engineering and Manufacturing Co. (Parto), Mapna Generator Engineering & Manufacturing Co. (Pars), Mapna Electric & Control, Engineering & Manufacturing Co. (Meco) and Mapna Boiler and Equipment Engineering and Manufacturing Company.

The power plant's first unit will become operational in 16 months. Once the project is completed in four years, Rumaila Power Plant will produce 18 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per annum.

In the first phase, gas turbines will be installed and synchronized gradually, and then the steam units will be converted into combined-cycle ones.

The Iraqi government guarantees the purchase of electricity for 15-17 years, as per the contract.

"Due to a chronic power shortage and its devastating impacts on Iraq's economy, the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity plans to increase power production from the current 8,500 MW to 20,000 MW," Aliabadi said.

The 3,000-MW Rumaila plant is expected to ease electricity shortage in Iraq.

"Operation from Rumaila will increase Iraq's power generation capacity by 20%," Aliabadi said. "Construction of a 3,000-MW power plant over a course of few years is the biggest technical project in the region's entire history."

The Iraqi Parliament's Oil and Energy Committee published a report drafted by the advisory board of the prime minister's office last November, which indicated that Iraq is losing around $40 billion annually due to the lingering power outage crisis.

Iranian Superiority

Ali al-Shamara, head of the Iraqi firm, told reporters that the standards and qualities offered by Mapna is higher than that of other producers, and in this regard Mapna is comparable to well-established western companies, such as Germany's Siemens and the American General Motors.

"Mapna Group is highly trustworthy, easily accessible and could promptly arrive at the site on the unlikely occasion of a technical problem," al-Shamara said in a press conference. "This contract is a turning point for future collaboration between the two companies."

 Aliabadi said cooperation with international companies is high on Mapna's agenda which is collaborating with 30 European firms.

It is currently evaluating participation in the construction of wind turbines in Italy, while similar proposals were made by the UK, the official said without elaboration.

"Security issues were of prime concern since negotiations commenced between the two companies," al-Shamara said when asked about prospects of the project in view of the recent insurgencies in Iraq. "For that reason, the power plant is planned to be constructed in Basra Governorate, 60 kilometers off the southwest Iranian Ahvaz city."

Iran is the largest exporter and importer of electricity in the Middle East and exports 1,300 MW of electricity to Iraq daily. Annual electricity exports to Iraq are valued at $1 billion.

Iran’s electricity industry ranks 14th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of power generation with an installed capacity of 72,000 MW. The country is currently exporting electricity to other regional countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Pakistan.

It is one of the leading countries in power plant construction  across the globe.