Iraqis enjoy almost continuous power supply after years of blackouts

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By Khayoun Saleh

Azzaman, October 31, 2012

For the first time since the 2003-U.S. invasion, Iraqis had a short respite from power shortages amid reports that an end to blackouts is soon to come.

Over the Muslim Eid of al-Adha, during which consumption of power soars, the more than six million people of Baghdad enjoyed 23 hours per day of uninterrupted electricity supply.

The four-day Eid, which ended last Monday, also saw provinces across the country getting up to 20 hours of continues supply per day.

“The hours of electricity supply have been unprecedented. The county has not enjoyed such luxury of electricity for more than 10 years,” said Musaid al-Mudaris, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity.

Mudaris said the success was “due to the stability in power supply and a surge in generation.”

He said the national grid produced more than 8,000 megawatts through the Eid at a time several major plants were shut down for maintenance.

Mudaris was upbeat about honoring earlier promises of putting an end to blackouts in 2013 as new power plants will start rolling and repairs of the older ones are finished.

“By April we will have the capacity to generate 12,500 megawatts,” Mudaris said.

If the ministry is capable of meeting its target of generating more than 12,000 megawatts, Iraqis for the first time will enjoy the blessing of continuous power supply in the scorching summer months of 2013 in more than two decades.