The Iraqi government has revealed that France's TotalEnergies will build a 1 GW solar park in Artawi, near the southern port of Basra, Iraq. The two sides signed a $27 billion framework agreement on Sunday.
The agreement includes three contracts between the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the French Company Total, and the fourth contract for the solar energy project between the Ministry of Electricity and Total.
— Government of Iraq – الحكومة العراقية (@IraqiGovt) September 5, 2021
France24, citing Agence France-Presse, reported that the three contracts signed with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil are related to a seawater pipeline extending from the Persian Gulf to the country's southern oilfields, an increase in production at the Artawi oilfield, and the construction of a complex to exploit production from the sector's gas fields. The news outlets did not reveal any other details about the PV project, however.
The plant will add to two giant solar projects currently under development in the country. State-owned Power Construction Corp. of China (PowerChina) is planning to build 2 GW across several locations. And UAE-based developer Masdar signed an agreement with Iraq's government in June to build a 2 GW solar project.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Iraq has just 216 MW of installed PV capacity, despite having huge solar potential. No additional solar power has been deployed in the country over the last three years. In 2017, Iraq’s installed power generation capacity – mainly based on fossil fuels – stood at around 11.3 GW, versus demand estimated at about 17 GW.
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