An explosion in a gas pipeline from Chamchamal to Erbil causes power cuts in the Kurdistan Region

Hama Amin Hawrami, energy adviser to the Ministry of Electricity of the Kurdistan Regional Government, has told Yalla that the lengthy power cuts in the Kurdistan Region are due to an explosion in a pipeline used to transport gas used in the production of almost half the electricity output in Kurdistan.

The explosion took place at 1:10 early Friday morning in the Shwan Region in the province of Kirkuk. The fire was prevented from reaching the power station in Chamchamal, and according to a statement by the Ministry of the Interior investigations are ongoing to determine the cause of the explosion.

Electricity production in the Kurdistan Region reaches 2750 megawatts. The damaged pipelines were used in the production of 1250 megawatts. The pipelines are approximately 180 kilometres long, and run between Qadir Karami Taze in Chamchamal and Pirdawd in Erbil, and transport gas from Chamchamal gas fields to the station in Pirdawd.

Hawrami said that the reason for the shortfall in electricity before the explosion was the winter cold which affected the supply of electricity and predicted that with spring approaching electricity supply will improve.

According to statements by regional officials, the demand for electricity during the winter has increased to 5000 megawatts, far exceeding current capacity.

Hawrami said of future plans for electricity generation and distribution in the Kurdistan Region, “Private sector companies will establish two new stations in the area of Chamchamal and Bazian in the province of Sulaymaniya.

“The plan will be implemented by the private sector, which will also be tasked with preventing breaches, excessive usage, and non-payment of electricity.”