Major Iraqi power plants idled due to lack of fuel
Most of northern Iraq is without lights as two major power plants have been idled due to lack of fuel, a statement by the electricity ministry said.
The source said the plants feeding the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk are out of function as technicians failed to secure enough gas to run them.
The gas-driven plants are among the largest stations in the north which has been suffering from acute power shortages for years.
Electricity levels in Iraq as a whole are at all-time low. The average time power is on across the country has been almost reduced by two thirds since the U.S. invasion of 2003.
Major cities used to have an average of nine hours of electricity a day prior to the invasion. The average is currently 3 hours a day.
Iraq was generating nearly 5,000 megawatts before the U.S. invasion. But the generation capacity has slumped to less than 4,000 megawatts while consumption has soared.
Electricity ministry puts national demand at 7,000 megawatts. This means that the national grid is generating less than half the national demand judged by the average time Iraqis enjoy electricity.
Output has slumped despite massive investments. The U.S. alone has invested more than $3 billion in the powe