$4+ billion debt compounds Kurdistan’s electricity challenges

Power producers in Iraqi Kurdistan are owed huge sums, forcing some to delay maintenance and sending a chilling signal to prospective investors.
The Duhok Gas Power Station. (Photo credit: Mass Group)

ERBIL - Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has run up nearly $5 billion worth of debt to power producers — a major factor complicating efforts to improve electricity service and attract investment.

The single biggest debt is more than $4 billion owed to Mass Group, an Amman-based company owned by prominent Iraqi-Kurdish businessman Ahmad Ismail Saleh, which runs three power plants in Kurdistan's Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaimaniya provinces as well as the Bismaya plant in Baghdad. The amount of the outstanding debt was confirmed by both a KRG Electricity Ministry official and an industry official.

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