Iraq shuts down power plants due to excess output

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By Shaymaa Adel

Azzaman, March 16, 2014

For the first time in more than two decades Iraq says its power output surpasses domestic needs.

Electricity output currently exceeds demand prompting the Ministry of Electricity to shut down several power stations, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement said Iraqis across the country, barring the restive province of Anbar, now enjoy uninterrupted power supply from the national grid.

The Province of Anbar, the statement said, was getting 16 hours of electricity every day because power lines and pylons are being targeted by militants.

Battles are raging in the province between government troops and militants mainly from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant who still occupy several neighborhoods in the provincial capital Ramadi and are in full control of the strategic town of Falluja.

The statement put power output at 12,000 megawatts. However, it said total output was at least 50% higher as the ministry was losing 6,200 megawatts of output.

It gave no reasons for the losses in power output.

The statement said teams of Iraqi technicians were doing their best to repair damage to electricity infrastructure in Anbar Province, which is the largest in area among Iraq’s 18 provinces.

The power plants that were made idle will undergo maintenance and readied for the hot summer months when consumption peaks, the statement added.