Soaring demand for electricity in Iraq’s south took down a vital transmission line between Wasit and Missan provinces on 15 June, leading to a “total shutdown” of all power plants in nearby Basra province. Basra houses at least 3.5GW of generation capacity with the incident knocking down gas and oil-fired plants alike. The impact also extended to Missan province with consumers reporting non-availability of power on social media.

Ziad Fadhel, CEO of State Company for Southern Electricity Transmission, a subsidiary of the electricity ministry, said the following day that “work has begun to bring back provision to vital facilities like hospitals, water treatment and gas plants feeding power stations.” On the latter, he says the aim is to maintain gas pressure to power plants. Basra’s First Deputy Governor Mohammed al-Tamimi says the incident was due to “high loads and increasing temperatures.” Even post-restart, power provision will be “2 hours on, 2 hours off” until the system stabilizes, he adds. (CONTINUED - 800 WORDS)