Siemens beats GE in winning $15 billion Iraq power project

Siemens beats GE in winning $15 billion Iraq power project
Iraq's cabinet have chosen German firm Siemens AG to carry out a power plant development project worth as much as $15 billion.
2 min read
30 April, 2019
Siemens competed with US firm General Electric Co. to secure the contract [Getty]

Iraq has approved a power station development plan worth at least $15 billion involving German multinational Siemens AG, according to a government statement. 

Iraq's cabinet chose the Munich-based firm, which is Europe's largest engineering company, over rival US firm General Electric Co. 

Seimens responded cautiously to the government statement, saying that contracts had not yet been signed.

"We are obviously aware of the latest media reports from Iraq and we stand committed to implementing our road map for the re-electrification of Iraq," Siemens said in a statement. "So far, no concrete contracts have been signed to execute the scope outlined in the road map."

Siemens and GE had vied for the crucial contract in order to support their ailing power generation businesses, according to Bloomberg. The fight to secure the multibillion-dollar contract saw both Washington and Berlin wade in to exert influence.

Last year, Siemens Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser blasted apparent US pressure on the Iraqi government to grant the contract to GE. Kaeser's criticism came weeks after an announcement by US officials that the Trump administration had successfully convinced Iraq to scrap the Siemens plan and hand responsibility of developing the power generators to GE.

Baghdad at the time said both firms were on equal footing for securing the deal.

Lsat year, protests spread across Iraq due to anger at the dire state of public services, with regular power cuts offering little respite from sweltering summer temperatures.

With the national grid providing just a few hours of electricity per day, many Iraqis are forced to pay to use generators through the private sector. 

Officially $40 billion has been allocated to the power sector over the past 15 years, but a substantial slice has been siphoned off by corrupt politicians and businessmen who have fronted fake contracts.