The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has signed an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) to build and connect the regional electrical system to the southern Iraq network, Doha News has reported. It is hoped that this will meet some of the demand for electricity in southern Iraq, as well as increase the performance and reliability of the network.

According to Doha News, this move will see the establishment of a new 400 KV transformer substation in the Wafra district of Kuwait. This will be linked to the Gulf power interconnection system and the Iraqi electricity network via Al-Faw electricity transformer station in southern Iraq.

“This initiative will have a pivotal role in the economic contribution and infrastructure development,” said the Director General of the QFFD, Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari.

The signing of the agreement is said to be one of the most important strategic projects of the GCC. Work on the project will start this month and it is expected to be operational by the summer of 2024.

Iraq has suffered from chronic power outages that intensify in the summer. The authorities have been pushed into inaugurating a new power station in the southern province of Maysan, which came on stream last month.

Following decades of violence and war that has devastated its infrastructure, Iraq is suffering from drought, sandstorms, desertification and falling water levels.

The GCCIA was founded in 2001, and the interconnection project was completed in 2009, when the network started its operations. Since then, GCC countries have saved nearly $3 billion while avoiding any major interruptions to electricity supplies in regional networks.