Iraq’s minister of electricity Adel Kareem said that the EU has given “initial approval” for Turkey to commence exporting electricity to its southern Middle Eastern neighbor. Ankara’s grid is interconnected with that of Europe. In March, Baghdad announced that “technical interconnection has been completed” after Kurdish conglomerate Kar Group (MEES, 6 May) built the necessary 400kv substation (MEES, 11 March). Ministry spokesman Ahmed Musa had said last month that the line stands ready to feed northern provinces in summer (MEES, 22 April). As summer nears, temperatures above 50°C are expected to increase demand beyond the Iraqi power system’s capacity, leading to an almost 9GW peak period deficit.

Iraq’s reliance on Iranian power and gas is increasingly undependable as Iran last year routinely halted supplies due to either lack of payment or its own rising demand (MEES, 29 April). This has given Baghdad more of an impetus to diversify its electricity and gas imports than earlier US pressure to end Iran flows. On 4 May, Mr Musa told daily government newspaper Al Sabah that GE has won additional contracts for the construction of its planned link with Jordan (MEES, 5 February 2021). He also confirmed plans to interconnect with Kuwait’s Al Zour substation as part of future GCCIA interconnection (MEES, 8 April). Recently, Mr Kareem also confirmed plans to sign a 1.5mn t/y LNG import contract with Qatar this month. But none of these will be ready in time to help Iraq get through summer 2022. (CONTINUED - 382 WORDS)