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Power disruptions after two transmission towers detonated south of Erbil

  2021-07-02  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Two transmission towers are seen fallen after they were detonated in Makhmur, Erbil Kurdistan Region, Iraq, July 2, 2021. Photo by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Electricity
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Electricity said on Friday (June 2) that two pylons at 132 KV power station were blown up by “saboteurs” in the disputed city of Makhmour district southwest of Erbil.

The power towers transport electricity from Erbil South Station to Qarachough Mobile Station in Makhmur, the electricity ministry said in a statement. 

The maintenance teams are expected to restore the power supply at the station in the few coming hours, the ministry added.

On June 15, five units from the Mass Company went out of service in Erbil and Sulaimanit that lessened the national power grid’s capacity by 600 Megawatts. Also, 350 to 400 Megawatts were restored at Khabat gas-fired power steam station following disruptions occurred due to gas pressure.  

The Kurdistan Region needs 4,200 to 4,500 megawatts in dry and scorching summer as temperatures usually top 40 degrees Celsius. The Region’s current capacity stands at 3,300 Megawatts and is expected to climb to 3,500, according to the KRG electricity ministry. 

The ministry attributed the reduction in electricity generation to a lack of fuels to provide for the power stations.

“We have the capacity to produce 1,000 Megawatts, but we can only produce 80 to 100 Megawatts due to lack of fuels that we can only operate 10 percent of the station,” the ministry said., noting that 1,000 Megawatts can also be produced in each Sulaimani and Erbil respectively if they were provided with sufficient fuels.

The ministry also said that the KRG provides 65 percent of the electricity costs, the rest is collected from fees paid by people, stating the Region is not providing the power to the governorates under the Iraqi federal jurisdiction. 

Power cuts are a persistent problem in the Kurdistan Region in spite of promises by the authorities to out an end to it.  The government has permitted private generators to fill the shortcomings, doupling peoples’ fees.

The demands are on the rise during winter and summer as people use electricity to heat or cool themselves.

750,000 smart electric meters have been installed in the households and businesses across the Kurdistan Region, amounting to half of the electricity subscribers, the electricity ministry said, claiming the smart meters will factor in controlling wastes in electricity.

There was a complete power outage in central and southern Iraq earlier on Friday.

(Zhyan English)