Iraq’s need for electrical energy is huge. The country currently generates around 8,500 MW but requires around 20,000 MW of electricity to meet daily demand. As a result of this shortfall, supply is limited to 4-5 hours a day in much of the country. This creates hardship for the people and hinders the growth of the economy.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of northern Iraq, the situation is much different. There, over the past few years, power supply has increased from 2-4 hours a day in 2003 to almost continuous round-the-clock supply today. During the same 10-year period, demand for electricity has quadrupled as a result of the region’s booming economy.
One company that has contributed perhaps more than any other to the improvement in power supply is Mass Global Holding. MGH, as it is also known, was the first independent power producer in Iraqi Kurdistan. In just seven years, between 2006 and 2013, MGH has completed six units at three power plants and added 3,000 MW of generating capacity to the region’s power network. This has increased capacity manyfold compared to what was available in 2006, when the first of the six projects was initiated. Two partners
MGH has selected the same two partners for all six power plant projects. GE supplies the gas turbines and generators, and ABB provides an integrated instrumentation, control and electrical (ICE) solution including balance of plant and a high voltage substation. MGH has developed a modular concept whereby it can build and expand each plant in 500 MW units. The concept enables MGH to manage and control each project itself – and in close working relationship with ABB and GE - rather than simply handing the project over to a single turnkey contractor.
“The three companies work truly as a single team,” says Dr. Qader, director of MGH's power sector business. “This approach has enabled us to build a strong foundation of shared experience and a robust work ethic. It not only works well, it saves us time and money and makes life easier for everyone.”
As a result of this proven approach, the team has completed all six fasttrack projects either on time or ahead of schedule, thereby enabling MGH to increase the supply of power to the region’s power grid.
ABB’s scope of supply for each project includes the electrical balance of plant, distributed control system and instrumentation, high voltage substation, balance of plant, telecommunications and fire detection systems, and water treatment system. ABB was also responsible for plant design, procurement, logistics, erection and commissioning in all six projects.
“We have reached the stage where we work so efficiently as a team that it takes us only two days to agree a contract with ABB and GE,” says Dr. Qader. “This enables us to start and execute projects faster than would otherwise be possible. All we need to do when we meet to discuss a new project is set a price and a delivery date. The rest is modular.”