The Rumaila power plant is 3GW gas-fired combined-cycle facility under-construction near Basra in Iraq. Owned and operated by Shamara Holding Group, the power station is being developed in four phases.

Construction on the £1.6bn ($2.5bn) project was started after the award of engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract in July 2015.

The first two phases of the plant for a total installed capacity of 1.5GW were completed as of June 2020, while the remaining two phases involving another 1.5GW capacity are scheduled for commissioning by 2022.

The Rumaila gas-fired power station is the first independent power project (IPP) in Iraq outside the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. The project is backed by a sovereign guarantee issued by the government of Iraq in 2015.

The 3GW power station located on the outskirts of Basra in southern Iraq is intended to reduce power outages and load shedding in the Middle Eastern country. The electricity generated by the power station will be off-taken by the Iraqi government under a long-term power purchase agreement signed with the Iraqi Electricity Ministry in 2014.

Rumaila power plant make-up

The Rumaila power station will comprise six combined-cycle power blocks of 500MW capacity each. Each combined-cycle unit will be equipped with two 180MW gas turbines, a 160MW steam turbine, and a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG).

The electricity generated by the power station is evacuated into the national grid via a 400kV substation.

Rumaila power project development phases

Six gas turbine units were installed and commissioned in phase one development of the project. The first gas-fired unit was synchronised to the national grid in June 2018 and the remaining five gas turbine units were synchronised as of June 2019.

The second phase, completed in June 2020, included the installation and commissioning of three steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators, as well as an air-cooled condenser system.

The remaining six gas turbines will be installed in the third phase followed by the installation of three steam turbines, heat recovery steam generators, and an air-cooled condenser system in the fourth phase.

Scheduled to achieve full capacity in 2022, the Rumaila power plant will be equipped with a total of 12 gas turbines of 180MW capacity each, six steam turbines of 160MW capacity each, along with heat recovery steam generators.

Contractors involved

Mapna Group, a group of Iranian companies involved in energy and transportation infrastructure development, was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract worth over £1.6bn ($2.5bn) for the Rumaila power station plant by Shamara Holding Group in July 2015.

Mapna will design, manufacture, supply, and install 12 MAP2B 180MW gas turbines and six E-Type 160MW steam turbines. The other equipment includes power generators, electrical and control system as well as heat recovery steam generators.

Mapna Combined Cycle Power Plants Construction and Development Company, a subsidiary of Mapna Group, is responsible for executing this project.

Shamara Holding Group is responsible for the civil construction works of the Rumaila power plant.

ABB was awarded a contract worth £22.7m ($30m) to design, engineer, supply and install the 400kV air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation for the Rumaila power plant in the second quarter of 2017.

Political risk insurance for the project

Mapna is covered by a political risk insurance (PRI) of £232m ($300m) for Rumaila power project by the Export Guarantee Fund of Iran effective from May 2017.

The PRI protects Mapna’s investment from political risks such as the outbreak of war, expropriation, confiscation and nationalisation, foreign exchange transfer, and breach of contract by the host government.