PM announces new Ministry of Electricity and Alternative Energy

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Prime Minister has announced that the Ministry of Electricity is to be renamed the "Ministry of Electricity and Alternative Energy".

At a press conference in Baghdad, Mustafa al-Kadhimi (pictured) said it is unreasonable to build gas power stations when there is not enough gas available, so the new ministry will actively seek alternative power sources.

In the past, he said, power stations were built, "in an absurd manner, without planning and without knowledge."

He also referred to the country's electrical interconnection projects with the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, which will provide power until Iraq reaches self-sufficiency.

Addressing the annual shortage of electricity during the very hot summer season, he said that last year's production of 21,000 MW will not be achieved this year, due to the reduction in gas supply from Iran.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Iraq debates New Oil Pipeline to Jordan

From Amwaj Media. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

PM Kadhimi under fire as Iraq debates new oil pipeline to Jordan

Since taking office in May 2020, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has placed the activation of an oil pipeline to Jordan at the top of his agenda.

The idea is to transfer crude from the southern city of Basra to the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba, reaching international markets via the Suez Canal.

However, plans for the pipeline have drawn heavy criticism from Iraqi political factions close to Tehran-despite the new opportunities it would create for Iran.

The full report can be viewed here (registration required).

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New Arrivals to Iraq must have COVID Vaccination Cert

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has chaired a meeting of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety in Baghdad.

The committee decided that all arriving passengers, including Iraqi nationals, must hold a Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

It also decided to end the exemption for umrah pilgrims from the requirement to have a Covid-19 international vaccination certificate.

Travelers must also have had a negative PCR test within 72 hours before entering Iraq (excluding those who are unable to prove that for health reasons).

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

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Kadhimi “wants US Firm to replace Exxon” at West Qurna 1

By John Lee.

According to a report from Reuters, the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has told the press in Washington DC that he wants another American company to replace ExxonMobil when it exits the West Qurna 1 oilfield.

Meanwhile, S&P Global Platts reports that Exxon filed an arbitration case against the state-owned Basra Oil Company (BOC) related to its stalled attempt to sell its stake in the field.

More here and here.

Read also: The Demise of ExxonMobil in the Iraqi Petroleum Sector 

(Sources: Reuters, S&P Global Platts)

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Dhi Qar Protests: PM Replaces Governor

By John Lee.

Iraq's Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The Prime Minister addressed the developments in Dhi Qar province, and confirmed that, following consultations with key stakeholders, a new governor has been appointed to run the province and his name will be announced shortly.

He told the Cabinet that an advisory council will be appointed in Dhi Qar, reporting to him, and that he he will follow up on a daily basis with the new governor and the council on all matters related to the reconstruction of Dhi Qar.

He also indicated that the results of the investigation into the violence during the recent demonstrations in Dhi Qar will be announced.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Iraq to Buy More Pfizer Vaccine

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

Following discussions, the Cabinet approved the purchase of an "additional quantity" of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 (coronavirus), but did not specify the amount.

As a result of the steady increase in the number of coronavirus infections, the Cabinet also authorised the Minister of Health to contract with retired doctors and specialists to fill the shortage in health institutions. They will be paid a monthly amount of 1 million Iraqi dinars.

It was also agreed to include foreign diplomats, and workers in international organizations and companies, in the vaccination program, "taking into account the principle of reciprocity".

(Source: Office of the Prime Minister)

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Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum Launched; New Projects Announced

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi received a delegation of Saudi officials and business people in Baghdad on Monday.

Among the visitors was the Saudi Minister of Commerce, Acting Minister of Media, and Chairman of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi.

The delegation included businessmen representing 22 Saudi companies.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest between the two countries, and ways to support and enhance them in all fields.

The two sides also signed an agreement to establish a metal silo to store wheat in Al-Diwaniya province, and a hospital in Al-Saqlawiya, Anbar province.

(Source: SPA)

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Lukoil and Iraqi PM discuss Cooperation

The Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail, received a delegation from LUKOIL on Monday, headed by its President Vagit Alekperov (pictured).

The meeting was also attended by the Russian Ambassador Maxim Maximov.

The parties discussed the progress of the West Qurna-2 project and Eridu field (Block-10), as well as prospects for cooperation in other areas in Iraq.

Prime Minister praised LUKOIL's operations in the Republic and spoke in favor of expanding cooperation and coordination between LUKOIL and the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

(Source: Lukoil)

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Govt to graduate Students based on Half-Term Results

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister outlined the challenges facing the country in relation to Covid-19 and the Iraqi government's efforts to combat the pandemic and provide support to health institutions and medical teams.

The Prime Minister called on all Iraqis to follow the directions of the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, and to follow official health advice for their own safety and that of all Iraqis.

The Cabinet discussed recent protests in relation to grievances to do with the Ministries of Defence, Education and Electricity. The Prime Minister directed ministers to engage in a dialogue with the protesters in order to reach realistic solutions commensurate with their demands and with the difficult challenges facing the country.

The Cabinet discussed current economic and financial challenges, and the necessary measures to encourage and promote investment in Iraq's economy as a key driver of growth and of job-creation.

Following further discussions, the Cabinet decided to:

  • Allow students at stage 3 of intermediate education to progress to stage 1 of secondary education based on their half-term exam scores
  • Authorise the Minister of Health and Environment to take all necessary measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic
  • Consider combatting the pandemic a competency of the federal government, and falls within the general policy of the state
  • Provide the necessary support to expedite the completion of hospitals in Dhi Qar and Maysan provinces

(Source: Govt of Iraq)