The agreement to link their power grids is the latest of many cooperation initiatives between the two countries.
T h e A r a b W e e k l y The Arab Weekly
The power grid link between Saudi Arabia and Iraq is expected to produce one gigawatt of energy during the initial phase, the Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud told Iraq’s state news agency INA on Wednesday.
The two countries signed an agreement to link their power grids on Tuesday. The deal was inked via video conference by the Saudi energy minister and Iraqi Acting Minister of Electricity Adel Karim, in the presence of Secretary-General of Iraq's Council of Ministers Hamid al-Ghazi.
The agreement aims to share the electricity-generating reserves and exchange electricity between the two countries for emergency use in case of a power cut, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Iraq has been witnessing a chronic power shortage since the US-led invasion in 2003, as the country's electricity plants and electricity imported from neighbouring Iran reached over 20 gigawatts, far less than the actual demand of over 30 gigawatts.
The MoU is the latest of many cooperation initiatives between the two countries that reflect the major progress made in the bilateral ties in recent years.
Citing the Saudi energy minister, INA reported Wednesday that “the Iraqi-Saudi cooperation is not limited to the electrical connection only, but rather it is the beginning of a joint collective action.”
Bilateral models need to be further developed and strengthened on a regional and Arab scale, said Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.