On January 17, 2011 Tamim’s governor Abdul Rahman Mustafa Fatah announced that the local power plant at Taza would no longer provide electricity to Baghdad. The governor complained that his governorate only received 3 hours of power a day from the national grid, and that Taza’s production would be used for local needs. The Electricity Ministry responded by saying that it had talks with Mustafa, and offered 200 additional megawatts of power, but that the governor had never responded. Now apparently he has.
On January 22, Tamim reversed course and said it had cut a deal with the central government. The Electricity Ministry announced that it would increase Tamim’s power quota from 170 megawatts currently to 250, with another 90 megawatts added by August. The problem is the province needs 900 megawatts. Not only that but Tamim’s three power stations produce around 500 megawatts, most of which is sent to Baghdad, Dohuk, and Salahaddin.
If Tamim had kept up with its boycott it might have threatened the entire power network. The system in part, relies upon regional power plants contributing to the national grid, which is then distributed throughout the country. If the provinces decided that they would keep the power they produced for themselves there would be a huge drop in electricity for certain areas. While Tamim won’t receive as much power as it needs, no governorate does. The governor can tell his constituents that he was at least able to get a larger quota from Baghdad as a result of his protest.
Abdul-Zahra, Qassim and Barjanji, Yahya, “Northern Iraqi governor cuts Baghdad power,” Associated Press, 1/17/11
Agence France Presse, “Kirkuk reconnects to Iraq power grid after row,” 1/22/11
Zangan, Jamshid, “Sit-in strands hundreds on Iraqi Highway,” AK News, 1/17/11