French energy major TotalEnergies has agreed to build a 1GW solar farm in the Basra region of southern Iraq in a deal that also sees substantial investments in new gas networks and seawater treatment totalling US$10 billion.
It is Total’s second GW-scale project in the country after signing an agreement with Iraq’s Ministry of Oil in March to install 1GW of solar PV across Iraq’s central and southern regions.
However, as part of the investment, Total is also constructing a new gas gathering network as well as a large-scale seawater treatment unit.
“This is the biggest investment by a western company in Iraq,” said Ihsan Abdul Jaber, Iraq’s oil minister according to French media reports. It comes as the country attempts to increase its power generation capacity following a series of electricity shortages.
The project “perfectly illustrates the new sustainable development model of TotalEnergies” and “demonstrates how TotalEnergies can leverage its unique position in the Middle East, a region where the lowest-cost hydrocarbons are produced, to gain access to large-scale renewable projects”, said Total CEO and chairman Patrick Pouyanné.
Iraq has an ambition to have an installed solar generation capacity of 10GW by 2030, representing 20-25% of its energy mix, in order to reduce its carbon footprint and its reliance on fossil fuel-based power generators.