An overview of a street of Kirkuk. Photo: Rudaw video
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region - Baghdad has decided to give part of Kirkuk’s share of electricity to Mosul, a move which is strongly criticized by the city’s local authorities as it will result in reduced power hours.
Of the 650 megawatts of power produced, 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.
“If it is at the expense of Kirkuk, we will not accept that as we buy electricity for the people of Kirkuk and we won’t accept the Iraqi government taking our power share,” Ahmed Askari, the head of the oil and energy committee in the Kirkuk Provincial Council, told Rudaw.
Askari explained electricity is provided to the provinces based on census data and therefore “we want the electricity from Baghdad per the census and for the refugees residing here.”
“The people of Kirkuk have suffered greatly. They share basically every public service with the refugees including the electricity, water, schools, roads, medicines and hospitals. I sincerely thank the people of Kirkuk for that, but their patience should not be taken for granted,” Najmaldin Karim, the Kirkuk governor, had said in a strongly-worded warning in late April.
Rudaw has learned that households in Kirkuk are now receiving 18-20 hours of electricity per day.
There are five power producing stations in Kirkuk. This is in addition to another two new stations under construction.
Danial Abdulla of the Kirkuk Power Department confirmed to Rudaw of the Iraqi government’s decree to reallocate Kirkuk’s electricity share to Mosul.
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 told Rudaw that as long as Kirkuk needs electricity from the KRG, they will “continue to provide 200 to 250 megawatts.”
Shali asserted that they “take no advantage of Kirkuk electricity.”
“On the contrary, we provide them,” he said. “But, if they did not need it, of course we could provide this sum to our citizens. We have no technical issues.”
Due to the fall of a number of electricity pylons between Kirkuk and Baghdad a while back, the Kirkuk state electricity had been connected to the Kurdistan Region’s national power.