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Iran Says Its Power Grid Is Now Connected With Iraq

Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian speaking with reporters after Iran's electrical grid was connected to Iraq. November 1, 2019

Iran’s minister of energy has announced that Iran’s electrical grid was connected to Iraq’s grid on Friday, November 1, to facilitate transfer of electricity to the neighboring country.

Iran has been selling electricity to Iraq for the past several years and the United States has exempted the trade from its sanctions, to help its ally Iraq keep electricity supplies steady. Iraq suffers from lack of sufficient and consistent availability of electrical energy, with daily disruptions across the country.

Iran exports 5 terawatts of electricity to Iraq and makes more than a billion dollars profit.

Reza Ardkanian, Iran’s Minister of Energy told reporters that the connectivity of Iran’s and Iraq’s power grids is part of agreements with Iraq to improve the country’s energy situation. Within the framework of these agreements Iran will share its knowhow and expertise with Iraq, the official IRNA news website reported.

He added that now, the two grids are “synchronized”, which means the electrical pulses work in tandem and this will help Iraq’s electricity network.

Tasnim news agency, close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, says that beyond Iraq, Tehran is also aiming at building an electricity network reaching Syria. Tasnim quotes Ardakanian as having said on October 31 that Iran needs to build a 400 KW grid to Syria to help Syria’s “reconstruction”.

This would be a complicated and costly project given hundreds of miles of distance between the two countries and the destruction inflicted on Syria’s infrastructure in nine years of civil war. In November 2017, Syria’s minister of electricity said 50 percent of his country’s power grid was destroyed.

Iran’s own electricity generation suffers from lack of sufficient investments leading to aging and exhaustion.