Iraq-Jordan Power Line

Iraq-Jordan Power Line
Iraq-Jordan Power Line

Iraq said a power line would soon bring electricity from Jordan to the border area as authorities aim to diversify energy sources to ease the country's chronic outages.

With its generating capacity ravaged by decades of conflict and underinvestment, Iraq has long relied on imports of both gas and electricity from neighboring Iran.

The 340-kilometer power line from Jordan will officially start operating, the electricity ministry said in a statement.

In the first phase, it will provide 40 megawatts (MW) of power to the Al-Rutbah area near the border. Its capacity will then be boosted to 150 MW and finally 500 MW to cover "several large parts" of Anbar province, west of the capital Baghdad.

Despite its vast oil reserves, Iraq suffers rolling power cuts that can last up to 10 hours a day, forcing those households that can afford it to subscribe to neighborhood generators as a back-up.

Iraq's imports from Iran are carefully monitored by the United States to make sure they do not breach US sanctions on Tehran, which regularly cuts supply to punish non-payment.

Power outages are particularly severe in the summer when temperatures regularly hit 50 degrees Celsius and demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning surges.

An electricity grid interconnection between Jordan and Iraq is set to start operation, the general manager of Jordan's National Electricity Power Company said.

The interconnection will link the Al-Risha electrical station in eastern Jordan, adjacent to the Iraqi border, to the Al-Rutba station in western Iraq, operating at a voltage of 132 kilovolts.

In February, Iraq and Jordan signed a deal under which Jordan committed to supplying the Iraqi side with 40 megawatts of electric power in the first phase, part of a comprehensive Arab plan aimed at establishing a joint Arab energy market in the future.