Iraq will be linked to Jordan's electricity grid as part of its efforts to help its war-wrecked neighbour, the Jordanian energy minister said on Monday.
Azmi Khreissat told the pro-government Al Rai newspaper that he reached an agreement to this effect in talks on Saturday with Iraq's interim Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samarrai, who visited Amman on his way to the United States.
"It was agreed to carry out an electricity link-up between the two countries through the Risha power plant and to carry out the necessary studies concerning this," Khreissat told Al Rai.
Khreissat did not give further details but he said that a team of Iraqi experts will visit Jordan soon to discuss technical details concerning the project.
The Risha power plant is located near the northeastern Jordanian town of Ruweished, close to the border with Iraq.
Earlier in November Egypt's Electricity Minister Hasan Yunis said that Egypt was examining the possibility of providing Iraq with 500 megawatts of electricity daily through Jordan.
"It was agreed to carry out an electricity link-up between the two countries through the Risha power plant"
Energy Minister, Jordan
Yunis, who did not give further details, made the remarks in Cairo, following talks there between Samarrai and Egyptian Prime Minister Atif Ebeid on how Egypt could contribute to rebuilding power plants in Iraq.
Jordan's ministry of electricity has said his country will set up a special office to provide information about Iraq's power needs and will also be willing to train Iraqi experts.
The announcement came after a meeting at the end of October between King Abd Allah II and Samarrai, following a two-day workshop organised by the Iraqi ministry of electricity in Amman to brief the business community on its projects.
Samarrai had said in October that Iraq's power sector needed $8 billion in 2004 to raise the current electricity output from 5000 megawatts a day to 12,000 megawatts.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference to rebuild Iraq in Amman in mid-October, Samarrai said the current output represented more than one-fourth of the country's needs, which his ministry estimated at 15,000-18,000 megawatts.