Former Minister: Oil is not the future of Iraq

Former Minister: Oil is not the future of Iraq

10/15/2020 9:03

Former Minister - Oil is not the future of IraqWhere is Baghdad News –

Former Minister of Electricity, Luay Al-Khatib, confirmed, on Thursday, that Iraq’s economic future lies in relying on sustainable electric energy, not on oil.

Al-Khatib said in an article published in Foreign Policy magazine that “during his tenure as Minister of Electricity for a period of 18 months (October 2018 – May 2020), he worked with his team to initiate concrete steps to electrify the vital energy sector in Iraq in order to help stabilize the country in the wake of The war against ISIS, with the aim of becoming a regional energy center in the long run.

Iraq suffers from a severe electricity shortage crisis, which was one of the factors behind the protests that the country witnessed in October of last year, while officials in successive governments and some political forces used to exchange accusations and provide unconvincing explanations, according to experts in the energy sector.

The funds spent on improving the electrical network in the field of generation, production and distribution amounted to about 78 trillion Iraqi dinars (about 56 billion dollars) between (2005-2014) without there being a tangible improvement commensurate with those numbers.

Al-Khatib stressed in his article that “the ministry was seeking towards an energy renaissance, which, according to his words, is a national development policy that aims to exploit $ 30 billion annually in lost opportunity costs in the energy sector and ultimately act as a force to achieve greater stability and economic prosperity.” “The need to balance what was then an unfair and healthy situation of competition between multinational companies that impeded progress and delayed achievements.”

He pointed out that “the energy sector in Iraq suffers a great deal of problems, perhaps the most prominent of which is the complex bureaucracy in the country, progress by focusing on ineffective and short-term technical solutions, rather than long-term structural reforms,” ​​explaining that “there is a chronic inability to manage raw materials.” Fuel in conjunction with other energy portfolios and the broader business value chain. ”

He continued that “this sector is subject to the conflicting agendas of a wide range of political actors in the country, which undermines the unified national vision of its administration and entrenches mismanagement, and plunges Iraq into corruption.”

In his vision to solve the electric power crisis, he revealed that he sought to “lay down a roadmap to achieve a balance between the immediate energy requirements of Iraq and the ambitious goals of energy independence that will be reached by 2030.”

He pointed out that “his plan was to get rid of dependence on Iran as the main supplier of electricity, and to benefit from the country’s regional relations to create a wider link between Iraq and other sources of electricity in the Middle East, while transforming Iraq into a vibrant energy and services market in the region.”

Al-Khatib stressed that “the stability of Iraq is an integral part of global security, and therefore the international community must support the efforts made in the country to achieve energy stability in order to enhance regional security,” noting that “stability in Iraq will support energy security in the world and thus the global economy.”

“Achieving long-term energy security in Iraq should not be one of my country’s priorities only, but rather it should be part of a broader effort by the international community to secure peace and stability in the country and abroad,” he said.

The former minister concluded his article by saying, “As the world continues its struggle with the economic repercussions of the Corona virus epidemic and climate changes, helping Iraq with electrical energy issues may be the first step in a broader effort to prepare the world for a new future.”