The Chinese firm, Shanghai, has started constructing a major thermal power plant in the southern Province of Wasit, the Ministry of electricity said.
Electricity Minister Kareem Waheed attended the laying down of the foundation stone for the plant, the largest ever project a foreign firm begins constructing in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
Kareem said on completion the plant will generate 1320 megawatts of electricity.
He said under the $924 million contract the Chinese were to have the plant constructed in 48 months.
“It is a good initiative from a foreign firm to start implementing such a project in the country following the improvement in security.
“Hopefully this will encourage other firms to follow suit,” Waheed said.
The Chinese have a much bigger stake in the province as they have also agreed to develop the al-Ahdab oil field there.
China National Petroleum Corporation is to develop the field with proven reserves estimated at more than 1 billion barrels.
Kareem said the Chinese will be producing nearly 90,000 barrels a day from al-Ahdab by the time the thermal plant is completed.
“The plant will rely for its operation on the crude which al-Ahdab will be producing,” he said.
The Oil Ministry is building small-scale refineries in Wasit, with the capacity of producing 10,000 barrels a day each.