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Chinese-built power plant in central Iraq ushers in first milestone




Mustafa al-Kadhimi (C), prime minister of Iraq, cuts the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the No 1 unit of Salahuddin power plant in Iraq. [Photo/CMEC]

A 1,260-megawatt power station being built by Sinomach subsidiary China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) in central Iraq’s Salahuddin province, which consists of two production units of 630 megawatt each, recently won the first victory in power stabilization in Iraq.

A launching ceremony was held to celebrate the grid-generation by the No 1 unit of the power station. Senior Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and the ministers of petroleum, defense and electricity and Salahuddin province’s governor, as well as Chinese representatives such as Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao and Chinese Trade Counselor Xu Chun, attended the event.

The plant, located some 120 kilometers north of the capital city Baghdad, is a key power project on which the Iraqi government has placed great emphasis, and it was designed with the largest unit capacity in the country.

After completion, the plant will stabilize power supply in Iraq and greatly alleviate power shortages caused by the peak demand for electricity in summertime. In addition, it will bring job opportunities to local people and boost the economic development of Salahuddin province and surrounding areas.

Kadhimi applauded the on-schedule operation of Unit 1 of the Salahuddin power plant, and expressed his gratitude to CMEC for its enhanced efforts in ensuring the smooth completion of the first phase construction, carried out amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

Zhang said that the successful grid-connected power generation of the plant has showcased the excellent quality of Chinese equipment, and added that the China-Iraq cooperation is expected to be further strengthened in sectors related to the Belt and Road Initiative.


Completed part of the Salahuddin power plant in Iraq [Photo/CMEC]

Iraq has been suffering from a power crisis as a result of the deterioration of infrastructure during the past decades, due to wars, insecurity, and chaos.

The work at the power station is being carried out under a contract signed in 2000. It was suspended twice because of wars before it was renewed in mid-2018.

For over a year, the project’s participants have been working hard to solve shortages of materials and funds, while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. They have now ensured the smooth power generation of Unit 1.

At present, construction on No 2 unit of the plant is in full swing. CMEC employees said they will continue to strive for the early implementation of the whole project.

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