Abadi assures Iraqis power supplies will improve amid protests

  In Iraq Insider 
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has reassured the Iraqi people that the daily dwindling power supply will improve in the country following widespread protests due to limited hours of electricity.

“The power stations require continuous maintenance. The maintenance sessions are supposed to be completed within the next two weeks. There are some malfunctions due to lack of filters,” said Abadi in his weekly press conference on Tuesday.

Prior to the conference, Abadi had met with the Ministry of Electricity, in which he asked that the people, especially during Ramadan, be quickly provided with electricity and problems resolved, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

He revealed that filters didn’t correct all measures, leading to a 1,400 megawatt producing station to be shut down.

“There will be big improvement in power,” Abadi said. “There is improvement now as opposed to the previous days.”

He said once maintenance is completed, more improvement is expected.

Abadi’s assurances came amid widespread protests due to the dwindling power supply in Baghdad, Tikrit in Saladin province, Muthana, and elsewhere in southern Iraq.

“When you go home there is no electricity. You go to your job, there is no work,” said one protestor from the city of Al-Samawa in the center of the Muthana province.

According to one protestor, the candidates they elected turned out to be “garbage,” while the other protestors say that the privatization scheme of Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity has become a “joke.”

The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has proposed to privatize part of Iraq’s power sector, saying the burden is too heavy for the government to carry on its shoulders.

Wasit’s provincial council has given one power company, with whom the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity signed an agreement, 48 hours to leave the province, saying the deal was signed without the permission of the local authorities.

Source: Rudaw