OPEC member Iraq has approved the construction of a new power plant at a cost of around $3 billion, the local media reported on Monday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani endorsed the project in the Southern Dhi Qar Governorate with a generation capacity of 3,000 megawatts (MW), the press said, quoting Dhi Qar’s Governor Mohammed Hadi.

Hadi, quoted by Aliqtisad News and other publications, said the project is the Governorate’s largest and is designed to tackle a persistent power shortage.

“We obtained approval for the project from all concerned authorities….we then submitted a request to the Prime Minister, who approved the project,” he said.

The project will boost Dhi Qar’s electricity output from 850 MW to 3,950 MW and will “provide a final solution to the Governorate’s power crisis,” Hadi added.

Iraq has awarded several conventional power and renewable energy projects over the past months within a post-war plan to tackle electricity shortages and reduce reliance on imported energy from nearby Iran. It has also signed power connection agreements with neighboring Jordan and Gulf countries.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)