Turkish firm gets deal to sell electricity to KRG

Turkish firm gets deal to sell electricity to KRG

ANKARA - Reuters
Turkish firm gets deal to sell electricity to KRG

Turkish firm Kartet has applied to the EPDK to export electricity to the Kurdistan Regional Government a year. REUTERS photo

Turkish energy company Kartet has secured a deal to export electricity to northern Iraq and has applied for an export license. That development could add to tensions between Baghdad and Ankara.

Under the deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Kartet will supply 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity a year, sources said April 29, adding that the Turkish Energy Ministry had given its consent to the deal.

“We have been in talks about this for a long time. The main target is to sell power to Mosul,” said Nuray Atacık, head of commercial relations at Karadeniz Holding, Kartet’s parent company.

A broad energy partnership between Turkey and the KRG ranging from oil exportation to exports has been in the works since last year. The Kurds early this year began exporting small volumes of crude oil directly to Turkey by truck. Baghdad has said the exports are illegal.

Kartet used to supply electricity to Iraq between 2003 and 2008, but security issues and a payment row reduced the sales. Kartet’s contract ended in 2010, but the company extended it for one more year. Kartet reapplied to make another extension in 2012, but the company did not receive it, Turkish daily Radikal reported yesterday. When Kartet sold power to Iraq in past years, the company had been criticized by some for “selling electricity to the PKK,” as cited by Radikal. “We do not sell power to the PKK, but to Iraq. Our counterpart here is the Iraqi central government,” said Hilmi Güler, then the Turkish energy minister.

Kartet supplies electricity to 1 million

Kartet has now applied for an export license with Turkey’s energy regulator, the EPDK. Following the application by Kartet, the energy watchdog has also invited all companies that wish to export power to Iraq to bid for an export license, sources said. If other companies want to export power, a tender will be held. Kartet appears to be one step ahead as the company made a similar agreement with the KRG in previously.

Years of war and underinvestment have left Iraq dependent on diesel imports for its growing electricity needs. The electricity needs of more than 1 million people could be fulfilled by Kartet if all permissions are obtained.