Dr. Jafar co-founded the Uruk Project Development Company in Dubai during 2003. He has extensive experience in the power generation field, having led Iraq’s electricity reconstruction efforts from 1991 to 1999 as well as serving as Chairman of the Iraqi National Committee for Technology Transfer from 1996 to 2003. Dr. Jafar is a staunch supporter of education and an accomplished author, penning and co-authoring numerous authoritative research papers in the area of energy and related industries. Dr. Jafar earned his PhD in physics from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
WHAT DO YOU SEE TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING IRAQ’S POWER SECTOR?
Iraq’s power sector has a number of critical challenges that require careful attention. First is the actual supply of fuel, particularly natural gas, once a power plant is on line. Second, ensuring plans and people are in place to not only operate but properly maintain the facilities. And finally, identifying an appropriate strategy for increasing the electricity tariff to cover costs; and having a mechanism in place to ensure the efficient collection of dues.
WHAT ROLE DO YOU THINK ASSOCIATED GAS CAN PLAY AS A FEEDSTOCK FOR POWER GENERATION?
Associated gas, when collected, processed and injected into pipelines could provide up to 1000 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) which should be sufficient to power approximately 4,500 megawatts in open cycle power plants. Currently, only North Gas provides about 300 mmscfd.
HOW WILL IRAQ MANAGE A GAS SHORTFALL IF GAS BECOMES THE MAIN FUEL FOR POWER GENERATION?
Any gas shortfall will impact availability of power on the national grid. The alternatives could be diesel, crude oil or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO). Liquid fuels are more costly, environmentally unfriendly and will negatively impact maintenance costs as well as plant availability and power output.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THE ROLE OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS IN IRAQ’S ENERGY FUTURE – SUCH AS SOLAR, WIND, AND NUCLEAR?
The cost of alternative energy sources render them impractical for Iraq’s immediate needs.
WHAT’S URUK’S ROLE IN ALL OF THIS?
Uruk is not only an Iraqi-owned EPC contractor; Uruk also has the knowledge and experience to install, operate and maintain any plant regardless of its type. We have made it part of our mission to help reconstruction through innovation, specifically in the energy sector; and including the oil and gas as well as industrial sectors.
WHERE DO YOU SEE URUK IN IRAQ IN THE SHORT, MIDDLE AND LONG TERM?
Uruk is committed to Iraq’s reconstruction since its inception. So even in the short term we have made long-term asset and corporate infrastructure investments regardless of the challenges. We have invested heavily in people and equipment. We have put all the pillars in place to ensure we are a reliable partner not only in the present; but also far into the future as well.