(MENAFN- Iraq Business News)
By John Lee.
KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has laid the foundation stone at the first solar power plant in Erbil province.
The 25-MW plant is being developed by a consortium consisting of Pluto Otto Cycle and Chinese companies Getting International Energy (which also has interests in neighbouring Jordan) and Shenglong Electric .
The deal to build the plant was signed in december 2022 .
Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Barzani made the following statement:
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us today. I am honoured to be here for the groundbreaking ceremony of the first solar power plant in Erbil. This plant will have an impressive capacity of generating 25 MW of electricity per hour. I extend my gratitude to the Ministry of Electricity and the companies involved in this significant project. I envision this as the first of many similar ventures throughout the Kurdistan region.
It is crucial that we prioritise the utilisation of clean, eco-friendly, and alternative sources of energy. In collaboration with the Ministry of Electricity, we have worked towards reforms in this sector to enhance the provision of electricity services to the people of Kurdistan. The Ministry's efforts in improving the electricity infrastructure and addressing energy violations are commendable. Through the implementation of smart meters, we aim to reduce electricity wastage and increase supply hours from the national grid. However, further development is necessary to ensure round-the-clock electricity supply to the public.
The Ministry of Electricity, in partnership with the private sector, must strive to plan and prepare for continuous power supply, including the integration of solar and other renewable energy sources. Opportunities to enhance the electricity sector and better serve the citizens are abundant. Nonetheless, the public's cooperation is equally important. By avoiding wastage, reducing overconsumption, and promptly paying electricity bills, citizens contribute to the government's ability to cover a portion of the electricity production costs and ensure uninterrupted supply. It is important to note that the subsidised electricity provided by the government comes at a significantly lower rate than its actual production, transmission, and distribution costs. By cooperating, citizens can help reduce the government's annual expenditure in this sector.
Dear citizens, despite our recent efforts to increase electricity production, we have not yet achieved the goal of providing 24-hour electricity. Although we have added more power plants, they have not been able to fully meet the region's needs. The rise in population, the establishment of new factories, and the increased use of electrical appliances on a daily basis have contributed to this situation.
To mutually support one another, the government must provide improved services, while citizens must fulfil their responsibilities. We both share a duty in this regard. The government's duty is to offer enhanced services, while citizens have a responsibility to pay their bills promptly. Currently, the national grid does not have the capacity to supply electricity around the clock, leading citizens to rely on private generators. However, if citizens settle their debts to the government, we can provide 24-hour electricity at a cost comparable to or even less than what they pay for private generators. By doing so, citizens can avoid the inconveniences caused by the noise and gasoline odour of private generators in their neighbourhoods.
Therefore, I urge all citizens to consider this government as their own and to actively participate in its functioning. The government is not an unfamiliar entity; it exists to serve you. Similarly, it is your responsibility to safeguard your country and your environment. This dual responsibility is a shared commitment that we must fulfil together.
Once again, I extend my congratulations to the Ministry of Electricity and the private companies involved in this important project. I hope that solar, renewable, clean, and eco-friendly electricity projects will continue to flourish in Kurdistan. Congratulations, and I wish you all success in your endeavours. May Kurdistan thrive and prosper.