Iraq has signed contracts worth $700 million with European companies to complete the construction of a power plant that was suspended due to UN trade sanctions, reported The Associated Press, quoting the official Iraqi News Agency INA.
The agency said the money is part of allocations the country has set aside from revenues of its UN-authorized oil program.
The report did not say when the work will start or whether the UN sanctions committee, which vets Iraqi purchases under the program, has approved the contracts, the AP noted.
The plant, close to the city of Mosul, 400 km north of Baghdad, consists of four generating units to be implemented by companies from Germany, Italy, England, Sweden and Yugoslavia, according to INA.
The report did not say how many megawatts the plant will add to the national grid, but it noted that upon completion the station should meet current shortfall.
Iraq has so far allocated more than $3 billion from its UN-monitored oil revenues to repair its ailing power grid. Still, many parts of the country face blackouts of more than 20 hours a day.
Work on the plant, believed to be one of the largest in Iraq, started in 1988, according to the AP. But Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the sanctions forced the foreign firms to withdraw.
INA said the plant would eventually cost up to $1 billion.
It is one of three such stations Iraq wants to build to meet power shortages. Iraq currently generates about 5,000 megawatts, and electricity officials estimate the country's needs at nearly 10,000 megawatts, the AP said - Albawaba.com
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