Following 2021 agreement at Artawi field

Iraq signs agreements with TotalEnergies for solar power plant in Basra

BAGHDAD, Iraq – On Monday, Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and TotalEnergies of France signed pivotal agreements to launch a solar power project capable of producing 1,000 megawatts in Basra Province’s Artawi field.

Overseeing the ceremony, Electricity Minister Ziyad Ali Fadhel detailed the project’s execution over four stages across two years, with each phase contributing an additional 250 megawatts to the national grid. According to the ministry, “TotalEnergies will construct a solar power plant in the Artawi field of Basra Province,” marking a crucial step in enriching the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.

These agreements stem from a comprehensive deal struck in 2021 with TotalEnergies that includes an array of projects spanning the oil, gas, and solar sectors, extending over a 25-year period. This strategic engagement underscores efforts to mitigate Iraq’s persistent electricity shortages amidst a surging demand from its burgeoning population.

Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies’ Chairman and CEO, expressed at the time the company’s commitment to aiding Iraq in developing a sustainable future by leveraging the country’s rich natural resources. “These agreements signal our return through the front door to Iraq, the country where our company was born in 1924,” Pouyanné said. He elaborated on the initiative’s alignment with TotalEnergies’ sustainable development model, which synergizes natural gas production and solar energy to satisfy the escalating electricity demand.

Despite the rhetoric, this agreement hit snags later when a new government in Baghdad demanded a higher share of the project. In 2023, a compromise was reached to resume the work.

TotalEnergies’ engagement in Iraq is deep-rooted, beginning in the 1920s with the Kirkuk field discovery.