Meeting energy needs in a manner that achieves security for Iraq has become a major source of concern for the electricity sector in the country; with the industry claiming that it lacks the capacity to meet current peak demand, especially with production running at about 50% of the country’s requirements. There is little doubt that over the coming years peak demand for electricity will greatly exceed the capacity of existing power stations. In view of the aforementioned, the need for the construction of new power stations has never been more pressing, however, it will not be without certain obstacles, most significantly the availability of fuel and other unforeseen technical problems, such as breaches of the contracts for the construction of new power stations.
Iraq’s electricity generation problems are not new. Historically, the country has suffered from severe power shortages since 1990, which were further compounded after 2003 by the unworthiness of the old power generation plants and the acts of sabotage during the intervening years. All this culminated in prolonged power cuts lasting anything between 14-20 hours a day; forcing ordinary people to rely on private neighbourhood generators and/or small household generators, both of which have added a considerable financial burden on people.