With the approach of the summer season, Iraq is working to overcome all challenges in order to re-release Iranian gas, to solve the electricity crisis, which is the biggest problem afflicting the country.
The Ministry of Electricity revealed, this evening, Thursday, the details of its agreement with Tehran to end the Iranian gas crisis, stressing that it included timings to pay the debts through installments, and the implementation was contingent on the release of funds allocated to pay the debts within the emergency support law.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Musa, said that the Ministry of Electricity formed a permanent operations room headed by the minister, with field tours to production lines in order to raise the level of work, overcome obstacles and solve all field problems, according to the Iraqi News Agency.
He added that the ministry is seeking to add 4,000 megawatts with the entry of additional obstetric units, to raise production to 25,000 megawatts in the summer, and repair transmission lines that have been broken since 2013, which will enter service in mid-May to support the electricity system.
He pointed out that the issue of providing fuel to power stations is under the auspices of the Prime Minister, and during the visit of Minister of Electricity Adel Karim to Tehran, the required quantities of Iranian gas were determined, and the need to adhere to the contract signed by both sides was emphasized.
Iranian gas pumping rates fell to 8.5 million cubic meters per day, out of 50 million during the winter, and 70 million cubic meters in the summer, which lost the electricity system about 7,500 megawatts.
The Iraqi spokesman confirmed that the visit concluded positive agreements and understandings, according to which the dates and timings of the financial payments required to repay the debts were presented.
He pointed out that the visit focused on raising the volume of Iranian gas supplied to Iraq and its releases to meet the needs of Iraqi power stations, and to pay the debts that were included in the emergency support bill, saying: “We hope to speed up the vote on the law in order to pay the required amounts.”
The Iran-Iraq agreement
The Minister of Electricity, Adel Karim, confirmed earlier that an Iraqi-Iranian agreement had been reached during his visit to Tehran to re-pump the gas to the required quantities with the payment of debts.
Karim said that “it was agreed with the Iranian side to supply gas to Iraq in the summer, and they are committed to this to equip plants and generating units for the production of electric power.”
He added, “Baghdad owes Tehran sums of gas supply, and an agreement was reached to pay it, and they estimated the Iraqi situation, expecting that the preparation would be good in the coming summer and winter as well.
He stressed that “there is a shortage in the supply of gas globally, and it has become a much needed commodity, and Iraq’s obtaining what it needs is an achievement, and we expect that providing citizens with electricity in the summer will be good, calling on citizens to rationalize consumption to ensure a good distribution for all.”
He pointed out that “the total quantity of energy produced in Iraq is good, but the consumption is very high, and the quantity required since 2003 to this day has increased by more than 600%.”