Siemens signs substation contract with Iraq's electricity ministry

The German firm plans to build 13 substations as part of its roadmap for the rehabilitation of the Iraqi electricity sector

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 29, 2018, a man checks the wiring on electric cables reaching out to homes in Saadoun Street in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, as chronic power shortages have forced residents to buy electricity from private entrepreneurs who run generators on street corners across the country. With a freshman at the helm, Iraq's electricity ministry is planning a long-awaited overhaul of the broken sector to both meet US pressure to halt Iranian power imports and head off summertime protests over chronic cuts. Baghdad hopes it will generate enough megawatts to feed demand by summer, when cuts can leave millions powerless for up to 20 hours per day. / AFP / SABAH ARAR
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Iraq’s electricity ministry signed a contract with Siemens for a 400 kilovolt substation near Ramadi, in the centre of the country, as part of a $15 billion (Dh55bn) programme to upgrade the country's electricity network.

Once complete, Al Hamudhia substation is set to provide electricity to Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar province and to surrounding areas as well as Fallujah, Saqlawyah, Khalediyah and north west Baghdad.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

The substation will improve grid connectivity, allowing for greater utilisation of the 1,642 megawatt Anbar power plant. The Hamudhia substation will also support annual expected energy demand growth of around 10 per cent.

“A top priority for the new government of Iraq is rebuilding the country’s power infrastructure. Upgrading and strengthening the Iraqi power grid is crucial to this ambitious plan, which will ultimately support Iraq’s economic, industrial and infrastructure development,” said Ammar Mohammed Kadhim, general director of the planning and studies department at the electricity ministry.

The construction of the substation is expected to begin next month and is set for completion by July 2022.

Rebuilding Iraq's power infrastructure, damaged by decades of war, is high on the government’s list of priorities. A crippled utility network has been a key factor behind protests across Iraqi provinces during summer months, when temperatures can easily reach 50°C, occasionally requiring government-mandated holidays to cope with the extreme weather.

Siemens is executing a $15 billion (Dh55bn) roadmap for the reconstruction of power infrastructure in the country.

“The new substation will support in providing reliable power to the homes and industries in the governorate of Al Anbar,” said Mahmoud Hanafy, senior vice president of transmission solutions at Siemens Energy Middle East.

The German industrial giant is building 13 132/33kV substations as part of its roadmap, with a focus on electricity transmission and distribution in Basra and central and southern provinces of the country.

As part of its roadmap for Iraq, Siemens is building a 500MW gas-fired power plant in Zubaidiya, south of Baghdad, as well as upgrading 40 gas turbines with upstream cooling systems.

In September, Siemens signed a $1.3bn agreement to rebuild two Iraqi power plants damaged by ISIS.

The firm will rebuild the Baiji 1 and 2 power plants, which are located 250 kilometres north of Baghdad and will add 1.6GW of capacity when completed. The plants were ruined in the takeover of Baiji by ISIS in 2014-15, which damaged the country's largest refinery — a 310,000 barrels per day facility.