Siemens Pegged To Receive Bulk Of Orders For Iraq's US$14 Billion Electric Rebuild Project

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser shakes hands with Iraqi Minister of Electricity Louay Al Khateeb during a signing ceremony at the Chancellery in Berlin (Photo: Reuters)

In the ongoing bid to take on the different projects included in Iraq's US$14 billion electricity infrastructure rebuild scheme, Siemens has now come out on top. The Munich-based company is reportedly now ahead in the race against its arch-rival in the competition, GE, to take on the bulk of the orders from the infrastructure project.

Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi visited Berlin earlier in the week and revealed that they will likely be awarding Siemens majority of the contracts for the country's electric infrastructure rebuild project. The joint press conference in Berlin was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Iraq's announcement may be bad news for GE, who has so far been in the running to take on the country's various electric projects.

Prior to the announcement, GE had revealed that it has already secured a number of orders for Iraq's power needs, including a 750-megawatt order that is deliverable by the end of the year. The awarding of bids to GE had recently been tied to the United States placing heavy pressure on Iraqi officials to choose GE over Siemens for its rebuild needs.

Siemens recently announced that it had already signed three contracts with Iraq, which is estimated to be worth around US$700 million. The contracts include the establishment of a 500-megawatt gas-fired power plant, dozens of new substations and transformers, and in order to upgrade the country's existing gas turbines.

In return for winning the contracts, Siemens has agreed to donate US$60 million worth of software to Iraqi universities and institutions. The German company also committed to building training facilities and health clinics around the country. The contracts were signed by Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and Iraq's Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb in Berlin.

Iraq and Siemens have so far agreed to cooperate in the rebuilding of the nation's power capacity, which includes the expansion of its grid and the enhancement of its existing power plants. In a statement released by the company, Kaeser mentioned that Siemens is now committed to supporting Iraq in its effort to rebuild. The company's commitment apparently includes helping the country find financing options for its projects, creating job opportunities in the country, and promoting small and medium businesses.

Iraq was caught in the crossfire of Syria's civil war just a few years ago, where Islamic State militants had occupied a large portion of its territory. With the militant group's defeat, the country has now started to rebuild, attracting investors and contractors from different parts of the world. 

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