September 19, 2009 / 10:41 AM / 10 years ago

Iraq awards power contracts to SNC, URUK

BAGHDAD, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC.TO) and Iraqi-owned URUK Engineering Services have each won an $85 million contract to install gas turbines in local power stations, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

The cabinet has approved a contract for SNC-Lavalin to install turbines in the town of Hilla, 100 km (60 miles) south of Baghdad, with two units that each will have a capacity of 125 megawatts. “The implementation period shall not exceed 18 months,” spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

URUK had won a contract to build a power plant at Taji, on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, with four units capable of generating 40 megawatts each, in the next 15 months.

The gas turbines being installed were delivered by General Electric (GE.N) under an earlier contract.

Iraq is trying to repair its inadequate generating capacity, ravaged by sanctions and war, which currently fails to provide more than a few hours of electricity per day for its citizens.

Baghdad has signed multi-billion dollar deals for gas turbines with GE and Siemens SIE.DE, aiming to add 12,000 MW of capacity over the next few years. Those deals have been held back by financing problems but appear to be going ahead.

Iraq’s current electricity capacity is around 7,500 MW, compared with an estimated demand of 12,000 MW.

Intermittent power is a chief complaint of Iraqis as violence remains lower than it has been for years. (Reporting by Muhanad Mohammed; Writing by Tim Cocks; editing by David Stamp)

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