30/03/2012 13:22 DUHOK, March 30 (AKnews) - Electricity shortages in Iraq this coming summer will be worse than the previous summer because generating capacity has hardly increased, an MP said.

The Oil and Energy Committee at the House of Representatives have official and professional reports that indicate, at best, Iraq may only improve its electricity by 2014, said Farhad Atrushi, a Kurdish committee member.

He stressed that this year Iraq cannot provide full time electricity" and the opposite statements are media propaganda to calm the ire of the Iraqi public and citizens."

The Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Hussein Shahristani, repeated earlier this week previous announcements that the generating capacity of the country will reach 9,000 mega watts (MW) by end of this year and self-sufficiency will be reached by the end of 2013 when production tops 20,000 MW.

However Atrushi said, according to the same reports his committee obtained, the power provision for citizens this summer will be worse than the previous summer, "where at best the government can provide only six hours of electricity daily."

He attributed the shortcoming mainly to "administrative corruption in the investing companies as well as the lack of interest to invest in Iraq due to its security situation."

"What has also destroyed and eroded the Ministry of Electricity and the electricity system is financial corruption," he added.

According to a report which fellow committee member Hassan Wahb prepared, Atrushi said some $20billion from the state budget was allocated and spent on improving electricity, in addition to millions more from the US and Japan.

"But what we have is only 5,000 - 6,000 MW, which is close to the capacity in 2001. Any increase is small and does not deserve mentioning.

"Where do these funds go? They say there were some projects that were executed but, the truth is, there is nothing in reality.

"This is not my word but according to official reports by the Oil and Energy Committee."

Despite $27bn (31.5tr IQD) being allocated between 2003 and 2011, there has been rare improvements to the sector since 2003.

Regular power cuts, of up to 16 hours per day, and insufficient electricity, especially during the scorching summer of Iraq, has led to frequent public protests.

By Khidir Khalat

http://www.aknews.com/en/aknews/3/298719/