Iraq’s plans to wean itself off Iranian electricity imports and ease crippling blackouts through importing electricity from the GCC’s Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) have been held up by delays by its neighbors. When the deal was first reached in the second half of 2019, supplies were meant to begin by summer 2020 (MEES, 13 September 2019). Clearly that target has been missed by a wide margin, but there are now at least signs of progress.
On 24 March, the GCCIA secured a key KD35mn ($115mn) loan from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development to expand electricity transfers to Kuwait and interconnect with Iraq. While a large part of the planned work is aimed at upgrading the existing infrastructure to benefit the GCC states, the funds are also earmarked for work on connecting to Iraq. (CONTINUED - 760 WORDS)