Fuel-starved Germany welcomes Iraqi PM for talks on gas deliveries
The Iraqi premier is also expected to finalize a deal with German conglomerate Siemens to pave the way for the 'rehabilitation and maintenance' of Iraq's power grid
By News Desk - January 13 2023

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on 13 January, met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Berlin and revealed Germany is in talks with Iraq over the possibility of importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to make up for the loss of Russian fuel.

“We also talked about possible gas deliveries to Germany and agreed to stay in close contact,” Scholz told journalists during a joint press conference with Sudani.

The Iraqi premier also held meetings with Svenja Schulze, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. According to Reuters, Sudani was also expected to sign agreements with Siemens, Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company.

The German multinational conglomerate is reportedly planning to increase its partnership with Iraq by building conventional power plants, creating renewable energy sources, and stabilizing the nation’s electrical grid.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing western sanctions campaign against Moscow, Germany lost access to 55 percent of its LNG imports, a dire situation that has sent Berlin scrambling to open up new energy sources during the past year.

In November, Qatar signed two sales and purchase agreements with US multinational ConocoPhillips to export two million tons of LNG to Germany for at least 15 years starting in 2026.

Earlier in the year, Scholz visited the UAE and signed a deal on energy cooperation. The European nation also recently received its first shipment of LNG from the US.

During his visit to Berlin on Friday, the Iraqi premier said Baghdad has also offered opportunities to German companies to invest in using Iraq’s LNG supplies and the gas generated as a byproduct from oil production, adding that his nation wants to deliver gas to Europe via Turkiye.

Sudani’s government seeks to eliminate gas flaring, a precursor to oil extraction, which contributes to global warming. The UN says Iraq is one of the five countries most exposed to the impacts of climate change.

Flared gas could help address Iraq’s chronic power shortages if captured and treated.

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