New GE Vernova projects set to boost Iraq power sector

25 Apr 2024
New GE Vernova projects set to boost Iraq power sector

Raft of strategic initiatives includes new power plants with an additional 3GW generation capacity; upgrades for 18 existing plants; and construction of a dedicated Monitoring and Diagnostics Centre.

GE Vernova has announced a series of strategic power sector initiatives to be rolled out across the Republic of Iraq following recent high-level meetings held in Washington, DC, USA.

The announcements were made on the sidelines of the Iraqi Prime Minister HE Mohammed Shia’a Al-Sudani’s visit to the US capital and follow the 2023 signing of Principles of Cooperation between Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity (MoE) and GE Vernova to explore opportunities to increase power capacity and establish new power plants. 

MoE-specific initiatives include a letter of intent to inject three additional gigawatts of energy into the country’s national grid, generated through highly efficient combined cycle power plants; and five-year services and upgrade agreements to enhance the availability and efficiency of over 70 turbines and generators at 18 power plants, with a total capacity of up to 7.5 gigawatts.

A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil with the purpose of accelerating the use of flared gas to boost power generation in select oilfields. With Iraq ranked among the top gas flaring countries globally, this initiative will establish a roadmap for future joint projects with the goal of significantly reducing pollution and health threats associated with flaring, while also generating additional power.

Plans are also being put in place to construct a Monitoring and Diagnostics Centre to help mitigate operational risks and reduce unplanned outage costs. The centre will use GE Vernova’s electrification software capabilities for continuous monitoring of core power assets across 18 sites powered by the company’s 9E gas turbines. In tandem, this will serve to support Iraqi talent development with specialised training programmes for local engineers.

The signing ceremony was made between HE Hayan Abdul Ghani Al-Swad, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil, Republic of Iraq; HE Dr Muhammad Ali Tamim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning, Republic of Iraq; and Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Government Affairs at GE Vernova; in the presence of HE Al-Sudani.

Separate to the signing, Iraq’s MoE and GE Vernova reiterated their commitment to move forward with the conversion of two sites at Samawa and Nasiriya (to the northwest of the capital Basra) from simple to combined cycle, as well as to expand capacity at the northeastern Al Mansouria gas power plant.

In a company statement, GE Vernova noted that the collaborations reflect the joint vision of the Government of the Republic of Iraq and GE Vernova to work together in order to strengthen and modernise power infrastructure, enable the transition to a lower carbon energy future, and promote economic development. 

Commenting on the announcement, HE Zeyad Ali Fadhil, Minister of Electricity, Republic of Iraq, said: “These initiatives mark a milestone in our continued efforts to strengthen national power infrastructure. As electricity demand in Iraq grows, we continue to work with leading companies like GE Vernova, to ensure that the power needs of residents and industrial users are met in a timely manner through advanced gas power generation technologies, on-time servicing and maintenance of energy infrastructure, and an accelerated use of flared gas, in collaboration with the Ministry of Oil.”

Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE Vernova’s EMEA Gas Power division, also commented, noting: “We aim to continue to work closely with the Iraqi government and other stakeholders to help deliver more affordable, reliable, and lower carbon power that supports the growing needs of citizens and faster, more sustainable economic development, to the benefit of present and future generations.”

HE Fadhil cited the recent MoE and GE Vernova completion of the MXL2 upgrade on two 13E2 gas turbines at Al Mansouria power plant, with a total capacity of up to 266 megawatts as key milestones “in preparation for the peak summer demand season in 2024.” Maintenance and upgrades covering a further 3.8 gigawatts of capacity is also currently underway.

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