Minister promises 24/7 power supply in summer

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By Tamara Abdulrazzaq

Azzaman, April 14, 2014

Iraqis were promised on Monday 24/7 power supply in the summer provided that the country’s electricity plants received enough fuel, said the Minister of Electricity Karim al-Jumaili.

Power consumption soars during Iraq’s summer season as temperatures surge to 40 degrees centigrade and beyond in southern Iraq from mid-May to end of September.

“The (Electricity) Ministry is capable of providing citizens with power 24 hours a day if sufficient quantities of fuel are made available,” said Jumaili.

The National grid, the minister said, currently produces 12,000 megawatts, which is enough for round the clock supply at this time of the year when temperatures are mild across the country.

But as temperatures start increasing with May and hitting nearly 50 degrees centigrade in July and August the country’s consumption peaks.

Jumaili said Iraqis will need 16,000 megawatts for round the clock electricity supply in the summer.

This huge volume, he said, would be impossible to provide in the absence of sufficient fuel supplies to drive the country’s power plants.

The Ministry of Oil is usually blamed for failure to supply fuel in sufficient quantities to Iraqi power plants, causing capacity to fall and leading to outages.

Jumaili said the national grid was improving and power output increasing.

Supply hours from the national grid rose to 18 in 2013 from 4 in 2011. This year, he said, “we can provide 24-hour supply in the heat of the summer if the grid gets enough fuel.”