On 1 June, Iraq’s cabinet permitted the Ministry of Electricity to exempt Total from competitive bidding and issue a “single bidder tender” for the 1GW solar power project signed earlier between the French giant and the country as part of a $7bn suite of projects (MEES, 2 April). The cabinet also exempted Power China from competitive bidding on unspecified EPC projects. The request for exemption for both was made by the Ministry of Electricity itself.

In December 2020, Power China’s subsidiary Sinohydro was awarded a $837mn engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract by Jordan based Iraqi Al-Dhahir Group for General Contracting for the 1GW South Baghdad CCGT plant. The project will compromise of three power blocks, each housing three GE Frame 9E turbines, three HRSGs and one steam boiler. The cabinet’s decision also allows the Ministry to tap into one of the existing loans approved under the 2021 budget passed by parliament (MEES, 9 April) to finance the project. With Power China integral to Beijing’s Belt and Road Imitative (BRI) projects, the Sinosure Oil-for-Infrastructure mechanism is the most likely candidate. Iraq planned to borrow $3.3bn for power projects in 2021. (CONTINUED - 188 WORDS)