Iran Resumes Electricity Supply to Iraqi City

Iran Resumes Electricity Supply to Iraqi CityIran Resumes Electricity Supply to Iraqi City

Iran resumed electricity export to Basra Province in southern Iraq on Thursday after it was stopped over unpaid dues.

“Negotiations with Iranian power officials came to fruition and the Persian Gulf state agreed to resume electricity export to Iraq, which was cut a few weeks ago because of Iraq's piled up debts," Majid al-Nasrawi, the governor of Basra, said on Thursday, IRNA reported.

Pointing to the fact that power cuts have overwhelmed the people of Basra, which is marked by hot weather, Nasrawi noted that an Iraqi delegation was immediately sent to Iran to persuade Iranian officials to supply electricity to the Iraqi city.

The power cut had reduced Basra's power supply by as much as 400 megawatts.

"Dozens of citizens demonstrated in Basra to protest against the deterioration of the electricity power supplies in the province," he said.

"Demonstrators, who gathered on Baghdad Street of central Basra, complained that the power supplies were deteriorating day after day, and the ministry or the government's indifference was unjustifiable. Demonstrators called for improving electricity supplies in the shortest possible time.”

Stressing that the construction of natural gas pipeline to transfer Iran’s gas to two Iraqi power plants has made 82% progress in Iraq, Mojib al-Hesani, the head of Basra Energy Committee, said plans have been devised to provide Rumaila, Shatt al-Basra and al-Najibiyah power plants with the imported gas from Iran.

"Basra needs 3,500 MW of electricity, of which 1,500 MW are generated in al-Najibiyah gas turbine power plant," he added, noting that as soon as the other two power plants are provided with the much-needed natural gas, electricity cuts will become a thing of the past.

Tehran and Baghdad signed a draft deal in 2013 to transfer Iran’s gas to two Iraqi power plants. However, the two countries agreed to postpone exports to the second quarter of 2015, given the political insecurity in the region.

Based on the contract, gas export will start at 4 million cubic meters per day and gradually reach 25 mcm/d. There are plans to increase exports to 30-50 mcm/d in the future.

A 270-kilometer pipeline stretches from Charmaleh, a village located in the western province of Kermanshah in Iran, to Naft Shahr, a town bordering Iraq and then to power plants in Baghdad. A second route, with a capacity of 30 mcm/d, will pass through Basra.

Gas export to Basra is expected to begin in 2016. A 142-kilometer pipeline is to be extended from IGAT VI to Basra.

  Power Export to Pakistan

According to Pakistan's Deputy Water and Power Minister Mohammad Younis Dagha, plans call for importing 100 MW of electricity from Iran to Gwadar Port city on the southwestern coast of Pakistan's Balochistan Province by the yearend.

Iran's current export of power to Pakistan, which is grappling with severe energy crisis, stands at 75 MW. Iranian officials have already expressed readiness to increase electricity export to Pakistan by 3,000 MW.  

 Iran ranks first in the world in terms of natural gas reserves and third in terms of oil reserves, according to the latest statistics compiled by BP. It holds 17% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves.

Nonetheless, it is currently a relatively minor and strictly regional exporter of natural gas via pipelines to three neighboring countries—Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.