Saudi Arabia will supply 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Iraq in the first phase of a project to link their power networks, an Iraqi official has said. 

Iraq will also get more supplies from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) power grid under an agreement signed by the two sides, Ahmed Al-Abadi, a spokesman for the Iraqi Electricity Ministry, told the official Iraqi news agency. 

Abadi said there would be separate power grid connections with Saudi Arabia and the remaining Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members and that the areas for connection cables and other facilities in the project have been determined. 

“This is a strategic project that will ensure power supply stability and allow Iraq to become an important player in the energy market in the region,” he said. 

“The first phase of the link with Saudi Arabia will supply Iraq with 1,000 MW of electricity. There will also be projects to link with power grids in other Gulf states and Jordan.” 

Abadi said such projects would also allow Iraq to diversify energy sources and stop relying on gas as a single source, referring to solar power projects to be built in Iraq by Total of France, Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and other foreign firms. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)