Iraq has kicked off a project to build a large power plant in the Western Alanbar Governorate within ongoing plans to rehabilitate its war-damaged electricity sector and slash reliance on energy imports, the local press reported on Thursday. 

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on Wednesday laid the ground stone for the project which will produce 1,640 megawatts (MW) and help bridge a supply gap in the country’s largest province. 

Al-Sumeria News and other Iraqi publications said the project would cost $one billion and would be completed within 3 years from the date of commencement. 

“This is a major project that will support efforts to expand Iraq’s electricity generation,” Kadhimi said at the foundation stone ceremony. 

The rehabilitation of the electricity sector is part of a post-war rebuilding programme launched by the OPEC member   few years ago at a cost of more than $one billion. 

Iraq, which sits atop the world’s 5th largest recoverable oil deposits, is also building several solar power plants to boost the contribution of renewable to its energy mix and reduce energy imports from nearby Iran. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)