At a recent conference, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Dr. Hussain al-Shahristani, announced that his government plans to invest around $500 billion in the energy sector and linked industries by 2030.
They hope that $80 billion will be provided by the private sector, and believe that the investment will “generate about $6 trillion in revenues for the government, mostly from oil exports,” and create 250,000 new jobs.
Iraq boasts the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and is currently producing more than 3 million barrels a day for the first time in 30 years. The OPEC member state, which is now experiencing a period of relative peace compared to the war-torn violence that has afflicted it over recent decades, wishes to increase production by more than 100 percent, using investments by BP, Shell, Exxon Mobile, Eni, and Lukoil.
Dr. Shahristani also mentioned that the Ministry of Electricity has plans to upgrade its power projects and build new ones, in an attempt to prevent electricity blackouts which presently occur several times a day, and mean that millions of Iraqi citizens only have power for 8-10 hours a day.
One of the schemes intended to encourage investment in Iraq’s energy sector is an invitation to companies “to build solar power stations in remote desert areas.”
He said that “power generation capacity is expected to reach 22 gigawatts to meet demand in 2016,” and states that “the ministry of electricity is also planning to upgrade the existing and the new gas turbine stations from single to combined cycle to increase power to about 30 gigawatt in 10 years.”
The Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Rowsch Shaways, also spoke at the conference, stating that, “my goal is to bring life to our economy to achieve a proper standard of living for our people and enable Iraq to take its place in the world community.”
“The Iraqi people deserve the best and we are seeking assistance from nations like Britain. We need to get away from the state doing everything. The Iraqi market is promising and it is broad and thirsty for investment.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com