An oil installation in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, claimed both by Baghdad and Erbil. File photo: Rudaw
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region - Kirkuk authorities have strongly warned Baghdad to not move forward with its recent decree to cut some 200 megawatts of power from Kirkuk’s national share to offset electricity shortages in other cities, most notably in war-torn Mosul.
"Baghdad has launched a wrong policy against the power sector of Kirkuk," said Rebwar Talabani, the head of the Kirkuk Provincial Council, urging the Iraqi government on Wednesday to "revoke it."
Talabani added they are against the decision "in full force" and they "do not accept the reduction of Kirkuk electricity to provide its share to another city."
Of the 650 megawatts of power produced in Kirkuk, 225 MW are believed to have been agreed to be given to Mosul to offset the war-torn city’s shortage of electricity that has been damaged due to the ongoing military clashes between the Iraqi army and ISIS militants.
In protest against the Baghdad decree, Talabani added that the Kirkuk administration also are willing take what they described as strong measures against Baghdad either "by cutting off an electricity portion Kirkuk sends to Baghdad or stop sending oil to Dorra refinery in Baghdad."
There are five power producing stations in Kirkuk. This is in addition to another two stations under construction.
There is also an existing electricity agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kirkuk province for providing power to Kirkuk city.
Hogir Shali, the KRG’s deputy minister of the Electricity Ministry had told Rudaw last week that as long as Kirkuk needs electricity from the KRG, they will “continue to provide 200 to 250 megawatts.”