General Electric, Trade Bank of Iraq and Standard Chartered have closed a $600 million (Dh2.20 billion) financing agreement to fund a power project in Iraq, which is revamping its electricity sector to meet rising demand.
The financing will help deliver and secure more than two gigawatts of new power and ensure the supply of up to 6.7 gigawatts to Iraq’s power grid, they said in a statement on Sunday.
“The financing supported as part of this latest round with our partners at General Electric and Standard Chartered Bank will play a major role in creating a brighter future for the Iraqi people,” said Faisal Al Haimus, chairman and president of Trade Bank of Iraq.
In October, Siemens and GE signed preliminary agreements to add 11GW and 14GW respectively to Iraq’s power infrastructure amid competition for multibillion dollar contracts.
GE said its 14GW power capacity plan for Iraq could result in 65,000 direct and indirect jobs, leading to annual savings and recoverable losses of up to $3bn. The company said it would secure financing for the projects through its relationships with international credit agencies and financial institutions.
Meanwhile Siemens, which presented a plan for reconstruction of Iraq’s power sector last September, said its 11GW agreement will examine “a series of short-, medium- and long-term plans to meet the reconstruction goals of Iraq and support the country’s economic development”.
A World Bank assessment has pegged the cost of rebuilding Iraq at around $150bn, with the utilities sector ranking high among the government’s priorities. The dilapidated power network was the main factor that fuelled protests across the country's provinces during the summer months, when temperatures can reach up to 50° C, occasionally requiring state mandated holidays to cope with the extreme weather.