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Shanghai Electric ramps up work on Iraqi plant

US$1bn plant one of biggest power projects in Iraq.

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Iraq is desperate to increase its power generation capacity.
Iraq is desperate to increase its power generation capacity.

Shanghai Electric, the Chinese power equipment maker, is moving ahead with a US$1bn power plant in Iraq, officials told Reuters on Saturday.

The planned 1,320MW steam power plant is one of the biggest power projects in the country, where intermittent electricity is one of the public's top complaints.

The project, which includes purchasing and installing four steam turbines, each with a capacity of 330 MW, will provide Iraq with a big power increase over the next four years, both Iraqi and Chinese officials said.

Work to install those units started earlier this month and the first unit is expected to operate after three years.

The project, which includes purchasing and installing four steam turbines, each with a capacity of 330 MW, will provide Iraq with a big power increase over the next four years, both Iraqi and Chinese officials told Reuters.

Work is ramping up with a handful of Chinese engineers and staff already on the ground as a camp is being built to accommodate the expected influx of workers over the next few months.

The plan is to get at least 100 more Chinese workers in the coming two to three weeks as the pace of work increases, said Cao Linjun, the site manager from Shanghai Electric, dismissing security concerns as an obstacle.

The idea for the project is almost 10 years old. When Iraq's first talks with China's Shanghai started, it was to build a factory to manufacture power turbines. The plan was put on hold for years due to economic sanctions imposed on Iraq followed by years of bloodshed unleashed by the 2003 US-led invasion.

As security conditions slowly improve across the country, Iraq has revived and revamped the project. It signed the contract with Shanghai in 2007, but it was again delayed due to security concerns and unavailability of land for the plant.

 

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