Power production to double in three years
Power consumption increases 2.4 times in 6 years
According to a plan by the Ministry of Electricity of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) electricity generation level will reach 6,000 megawatts, almost twice as today’s production level.
This plan is based on statistics showing that the consumption level has been on a constant rapid increase in the past decade and it would further increase in the future due to the significant economic boom the region is experiencing.
This production level, however, is expected to exceed the domestic demand and the KRG would then be able to sell some electricity to other Iraqi provinces outside of Kurdistan Region. Statistics available at the ministry show that the current power consumption rate in the region is 3,488 megawatts, while this rate used to be only 1,457 megawatts in 2006.
Kurdistan Region generates its power from a number of local power stations including the Chamchamal, Erbil, Duhok and Baadre Gas Power Stations, Darbandikhan and Dokan Hydropower Stations and the three 29 Megawatt power stations in Erbil, Duhok and Suleimaniya. Combining all the power generation capacity of the KRG, the region has had a record breaking power supply between 20 and 22 hours per day.
The increase in the power production capacity of the region has been on a constant increase recently. The region was only producing 482 MW in 2007, which was raised to 484 MW in 2008, 809 MW in 2009, 1047 MW in 2010, 1435 MW in 2011 and finally to 2700 MW in 2012, showing its highest jump of around 100% in one year.
Moreover, there are other projects such as the Erbil Combined Cycle Gas Power Station, extension of Khormala, Zakho and Baadre power stations are under implementation as well as a signing the contract for the first steam power station with a capacity of 300 MW.
All the region’s cities, districts and sub-districts currently have national power supply in addition to overwhelming majority of the inhabited villages. More than 800 villages in Duhok, more than 1100 villages in Erbil and 1300 villages in Sulaimaniyah are connected to the national power supply grid.
In addition to the residents of Kurdistan Region, the KRG provides electricity to Kurdish areas outside the region such as parts of Kirkuk, Mosul and Diala provinces. In June 2011 the government provided 200 MW power to Kirkuk, and in June 2012 it allocated 50 MW power to Mosul Province. Makhmour District also started to get 20 MW from Kurdistan Region since early 2012. Later in the same year and in October, Duz Khurmatu District got power supply from KRG. Additionally the KRG supported Khanaqeen and Sheikhan districts by increasing their power supply hours from 4 – 6 hours up to as high as 16 hours.
KRG is currently trying to control the consumption of electricity and ensure equality among consumers. For this it has started to implement the project of installing smart power meters for electricity subscribers. This strategic project, which is scheduled to finish in 2 to 3 years, is expected to save around 500 MW of power consumption and set a foundation for the future of energy development in Kurdistan Region.
Developments in power production and consumption
Statistics available at the Electricity Ministry show that power production capacity of the region has increased by 400% since 2004, while the demand has increased by 227% since the same year. This means that the government has been successful in significantly reducing the gap between the demand and supply of electricity in the region.
While the power demand in 2004 was 33 MW in Erbil, it has reached up to 1,143 MW. Similarly, in Sulaimaniyah the rate has jumped from its 2004 value of 362 MW to 1280 MW in 2012 and Duhok has also witnessed a dramatic increase from 231 MW in 2004 to 856 MW in 2012. This means that the total demand in 2004 was 829 MW and this has reached 3279 MW in 2012, almost 4 times higher in less than a decade.
Government’s electricity budget
Every year the regional government allocates budget for numerous power production and distribution projects. Currently the Electricity Ministry has 112 ongoing and proposed projects with a total value of more than IQD 1.8 trillion (more than US$ 1.5 billion), and for which it has allocated more than IQD 500 billion (approximately US$ 440 million) from this year’s budget.
Last year’s electricity budget was more than IQD 900 billion (approximately US$ 700 million).
This picture depicts a power station.