Iran resumes electricity export to Iraq – ministry

Iran resumed today exporting electric power to Iraq after it had been halted for more than two months, the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity revealed in a statement on Tuesday.

The halt was said to have been resulted from Baghdad’s accumulated debts to the Iranian government.

“The Iranian side will restart power lines to work after a hiatus of more than two months because of the accumulation of debt,” the ministry statement said.

The statement added that the operation of these lines will add 1300 megawatts to the national grid.

Last January, Iran halted electricity supplies, represented in five power lines, to Iraq because of the outstanding arrears, which have piled up to reach $1 billion.

In July 2016, Iran partially halted electricity supplies coming through the power lines of “Khrmchehr- Bozrah” and “Krkhh – Building”, which provide Iraq 800 megawatts of electric power. The two lines’ services were resumed after the government in Baghdad paid $350 million as part of its debt for power imports.

The Islamic Republic supplies Iraq with about 1,500-2,000 megawatts of electricity under an agreement between the two countries in 2005.

An official source at the ministry to Anadolu Agency that the resumption of electric power supplies to Iraq came after a recent visit by an Iraqi official delegation to Tehran, during which the two countries agreed on repaying the debts in three instalments. According to the source, the contract to sell power to Iraq was renewed until the end of 2017.

The source, who preferred anonymity, explained that the power supplies halt had directly affected the Diyala, Wasit, and Basra provinces.

Most of the Iraqi provinces suffer power cuts for long periods, especially during the cold weather as Iraqis predominately rely on electrical heaters