Mar 29 2011
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Turkish-Iraqi oil pipeline agreement concluded - electricity deals struck
The 960 km Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline consists of two parallel pipes with a capacity to carry more than 600,000 barrels of oil per day to Turkey's Mediterranean port.
The pipeline that carries a quarter of Iraq's crude exports was attacked by insurgents in the Hadar area of Nineveh province at the beginning of March, temporarily halting the oil flow.
Details of the amendments to the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Iraq have not been disclosed.
Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with the Turkish energy minister and two Turkish energy firms in Baghdad, Hussein al-Shahristani also announced that the Turkish side has agreed to supply Iraq with electricity via the Syrian grid, adding that further meetings next week will be held to discuss the logistics of the deal.
Shahristani said that another investment deal concerning the construction of the 750 megawatt Nineveh power station had been signed, due for completion in 2012.
The new power station would, the deputy PM said, "enter into service alongside the Khairat network in Karbala during the summer of 2012 so that the processing rate of the two stations will reach 2000 megawatts".
At the same conference Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz spoke of his country's intention to play an active role in the resolution of Iraq's electricity crisis.
"...There will be a special meeting between me and the private Turkish companies to discuss the possibility of their investment in Iraq in this field," he said.
According to government figures, the energy currently available to Iraq is around 9 thousand megawatts of energy, while demand is estimated at up to 14 thousand megawatts during the summer months.
Iraq's power stations and distribution networks, already suffering from years of neglect attributed to the economic sanctions imposed on the country by the UN in 1990, were badly damaged during the allied invasion of the country in 2003 and by repeated acts of insurgent sabotage thereafter.
The Iraqi government had previously announced plans to increase the country's generative capacity to 27,000 megawatts over the next four years, requiring an investment of between $3bn and $4bn per year.
The majority of households across the Iraqi provinces currently receive between six and eight hours of national electricity each day.
This poor provision of electricity has been one of the main grievances of protestors in the wave of public demonstrations that have swept through Iraq over recent months.
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