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Japan to provide soft loan to Iraq for power and port sector

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced that it will provide a soft loan of US$4.5bn to develop power sector and port infrastructure in Iraq

The Ministry of Planning said that the 15-year loan period will see projects coordinated with JICA and other government entities

Abdul Zahra Al-Hindawi, spokesperson from the Ministry of Planning, said, ?The most important of these projects is rehabilitation and development of some Iraqi ports and the construction of power plants in 2014.?

The construction of the Al-Hartha power station and rebuilding Khor Al Zubair port in Basra will be the first among the 15 projects, added Al Hindawi.

Masaab Al-Mudarris, spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity, added that projects in the power sector included upgrading transmission and distribution stations. A 120MW plant and a 250MW plant will be built in Akaz, in Al Anbar governorate. In addition, a 1,500MW gas-powered plant would be built in Dhi Qar province over a period of four years.

Haider Al-Abadi, chairman of Iraq?s Parliamentary Finance Committee, said, ?This offer is excellent. As a long-term loan, it gives Iraq enough time to pay it back and commits Japan to complete the projects while transferring knowledge and building skills in Iraq.?

According to the Iraqi government website, JICA has supported development projects in Iraq since 2003 and has provided 20 soft loans to support infrastructure projects in sectors like electricity, water and wastewater management, oil, irrigation, transportation, industrial, health and communication.