Iraq aims to double power provision in a year, it said Saturday, in a bid to bridge a shortage that remains a key frustration for ordinary Iraqis, though the country will still fall short of 24-hour power.
Overall electricity supply, including domestic production and imported power, is projected to increase to 12,330 megawatts in April 2013, from around 6,000 megawatts currently, the electricity ministry said in a statement. But even if authorities are able to ramp up provision to that level, supplies will still be less than expected nationwide demand of between 14,000 and 15,000 megawatts.
Electricity provision remains poor in Iraq, with the national grid only supplying a few hours of power per day, and locals making up the shortfall by using private generators. The problem worsens during the country's boiling summer, when temperatures regularly top 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), and Iraqis run air conditioners virtually non-stop.
Overall power supplies are expected to be 9,000 megawatts by July this year, the ministry said, and would increase to 10,400 megawatts by year-end before reaching 12,330 megawatts in April next year. The projected rise is largely due to increased domestic production, as imports are expected to stay virtually the same.
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Hussein al-Shahristani, told Agence France Presse last month that the country hopes to plug its power shortage by the end of next year, and will supply private generators with subsidized fuel to address this summer's shortfall. He said domestic production is expected to increase to 20,000 megawatts by the end of next year, against anticipated demand of around 15,000 megawatts.
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