As of 2004, support of the Iraq Power Sector Reconstruction project which rebuilt, expanded and modernized the country’s electricity system, restoring 2,500-megawatts (MW) of power to the country’s grid.
More than 550 power projects were completed from 2004 to 2008, achieving peak daily power generation of more than 6,000-MW (or about 12 hours per day).
Initially part of a joint venture known as the Iraq Power Alliance, we acted as program manager for the restoration of Iraq power facilities nationwide, with projects ranging from laying underground cable to repairing overhead lines, building new substations and rehabilitating existing power plants. Standout projects included the commissioning of two 160-MW steam turbines at the Doura thermal power plant and eight gas turbines at the Mussayib power plant.
In our role as program manager, we also oversaw the completion of projects despite the constant threat of sabotage and insurgent activity. While the original budget was for only 480 projects, an additional 70 projects were completed as a result of strict financial management and cost control systems that we had adopted and implemented.
In October 2009, the Iraq electricity masterplan project was undertaken to develop a long-term road map and least-cost electricity plan based on economic modeling and decision-making principles. It considered both the short term (next three to four years) and the long-term (up to 2030) and took over a year of intensive work to complete.
Iraq has an abundance of gas, both associated gas (from oil production) and dome gas (from gas fields). Therefore the master plan report recommended a move away from heavy fuel oil and crude oil for domestic generation to gas.
The master plan also addressed how the transmission system needed to be expanded in the next five years to accommodate the Mega Deal Power Plants (80 gas turbines equalling 10,000 MW bought by the Ministry to build new power plants), an additional 10 GW being added to a network which currently only supplies 6,000 MW and is only capable of delivering approximately 8,000 MW.
On the distribution planning side, we modelled seven bulk supply points around Iraq, and ran extensive training workshops in the application of CymeDist and the development of distribution network models.
The plan reduces unsupplied demand and its devastating effect on people and the economy. It has provided a roadmap for the future, with a plan to meet demand in the short term and then expand the electrical system as the political situation improves and the economy grows.