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Iran, Iraq discuss building electricity transfer plants

Baghdad, Jan 17, IRNA-Iran's Charge d'Affaires in Iraq Hassan Kazemi met here Monday with Iraqi electricity Minister Abd al-Muhsin Shalash.

They discussed implementing the signed agreement including the expediting building nine electricity transfer plants.

Shalash expressed his country's readiness for reconstruction of its electricity sector with Iran' assistance.

He also called for implementing electricity projects from credit allocated by Iran for Iraq's reconstruction drive.

After the meeting, Kazemi told IRNA that given Iraq's electricity needs and Iran's experiences in the field, the electricity sector is the highlight of the two neighbors' cooperation.

"Currently, Iran exports 100 megawatts of electricity to its Western neighbor at the cost of dlrs 50 million this year," he said.

He also reckoned that with the building of necessary equipment the figure will increase to 220 megawatts in one month.

He said that the transformer, already built in Iran and nine electrical outposts in Iraq to be completed next month.

Iran has allocated one billion dollars to the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructural projects, he said, adding the major portion of the fund will be spent on electricity industry.

Due to insecurity and continued acts of sabotage in Iraq, its electricity industry has not improved, Shalash said, adding the shortages will be eliminated through implementation of the related projects by the ministry.

The Iraqi minister added that a 20-billion-dollar budget is needed to join Iraq's power network to global network.

Shalash said that Iraq needs 18,000 megawatts of electricity, expressing hope the demands would be met by 2010.

Some 5,300 megawatts of electricity have been provided for the country, and the figure is expected to reach 6,000 megawatts in coming months, he said.

In December, Iraq's Minister of Industry and Minerals Usama al-Najafi in a meeting with Iran's commercial attache in Iraq, Janali Halvaei on Iranian and world industrial enterprises to submit their industrial proposals to Iraqi partners to enable them pick up the suitable ones.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the quality of Iranian industries and said that Iran has made remarkable progress in improving the quality of its industries over the recent years.

The meeting aimed to follow up the mutually signed industrial and commercial agreements, in particular those on power generators, glass industry, detergents, auto industry, cooking oil and sugar.

Al-Najafi underlined that every contract inked between Iraqi industrial companies affiliated to the country's Ministry of Industry and Mines and foreign partners should be approved by this ministry to authorize their implementation.

For his part, Halvaei reiterated the need to strengthen mutual ties and said that Iran is prepared to participate in Iraqi industrial projects.

... Payvand News - 1/17/06 ... --

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