International Conference to Explore Investment Opportunities in Iraq’s Power Industry
In November, Eastern Lights Energy group attended an interactive conference on “Regulation and Investment In Iraq’s Electricity Sector” held in Istanbul 18-19 November 2009 at the Çiragan Palace Hotel. The conference was sponsored by the United States of America State Department Iraq Transition Office Baghdad Iraq and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The conference speakers included Deputy Minister of Electricty Iraq, ParsonBrinckerhoff consultants and lawyers who are writing the new regulatory laws, American Embassy Iraq ITAO team, DLA Piper law firm who are legal counsel for Iraq Ministry of Electricity, GE, Turner Advisors, JICA, and a former commander of the Energy Fusion Cell.

The attendees included many people from the Ministry of Electricity Iraq, lawyers, advisors, consultants involved in various areas of the reconstruction effort in Iraq (mainly the electricity sector) and many companies involved in power generation, construction of power plants and or providing equipment in same sector.

The topics included:

“Iraq’s Perspective on Private Investment in the Electricity Industry” H.E. Mr. Salam Saeed Kazzaz, Deputy Minister of Electricity, Iraq and Abdulecadhim Fadhel Abbas Al-Shkban, ME/Baghdad, Office of Planning and Studies.

“ Practical Progress toward Electricity Regulation in Iraq” Phil O’Connor, Ph.D. Regulatory Consultant, Regulatory Team Member, Parsons Brinckerhoff

“Legal Implications for Investors” David Lockhart, Legal Consultant, Regulatory Team Member, Parsons Brinckerhoff

“Iraq’s Current Regulatory Environment and Framework” Eva Wohn, J.D., Legal Advisor, Regulatory Team Member, Parsons Brinckerhoff

“Regulation and Techical Issues” Brian Wharmby, Bsc Phd Ceng FIET Technical Consultant Regulatory Team Member, Parsons Brinckerhoff

“ Overview of ME’s Department of Regulation” and “Performance Review by the Department of Regulation”
Bob Graniere, Project Manager, Regulatory Team Member, Parsons Brinckerhoff

“Investing in Iraq’s Electricity: Opportunities and Risks” Gen Hamish McNinch (Ret.) Former Commanding Officer of the Energy Fusion Cell

“JICA – Overview of Reconstruction Assistance for Iraq” Iguchi Chinami

“Key Elements for Successful IPP’s” Mete Maltepe GE Turkey

“Financing the Power to Turn on the Lights” Ava Turner, President, Turner Advisors

“Expansive Contracts as an Interim Approach that Compliments the ERL” and “Unique Legal Aspects of a Pubic-Private Partnership for Iraq” Michael Elam, partner and Chris Townsend, partner, DLA Piper, 2008 & 2009 Legal Counsel, Iraq Ministry of Electricity.

There was also a presentation on the KRG Master Electric Plan.

Each afternoon there were breakout sessions which allowed interaction between all participants to discuss these topics in detail. Following the formal program each evening there was a dinner which allowed another opportunity to network and exchange ideas and information on this very important topic. We came away with a much better understanding of the progress that has been made and the challenges that lay ahead to “light up” Iraq.

Seminar Photos by Amanda Ensign

H.E. Mr. Salem Saeed Kazzaz, Deputy Minister of Electricity

Break-out discussion

David Ensign, Bashar Hamzah Abu Ail Al-Aameri, Nadia Al-Hashimi, Amanda Ensign

Jahan Barghi GE & Turgay Özben Eastern Lights Energy, Turkey

David Ensign, David Lockhart & Ret. General Hamish McNinch

Iraqi ME Delegation - Photos by Amanda Ensign

Turgay Özben, Sahnur Agiak, Eastern Lights Energy and Amanda Ensign