Kurdistan's minister of Electricity, Hoshyar Siwaily, showed interest in Brazilian technology for the generation of solar and wind energy. The topic was discussed during the visit of the ambassador of Brazil to Iraq, Bernardo de Azevedo Brito, and of the secretary general of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Michel Alaby, to Erbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan.
In the meeting, the minister spoke to Brazilians about the lack of energy in Iraq and the current policy of the ministry of delivering to the private sector the control of generation and distribution of energy.
According to Alaby, the country has been using gas and oil to generate electricity, but as the presence of rivers is significant, the country government is studying the possibility of building dams.
Solar and wind energy are also part of the plans of the ministry, due to the number of mountains in the country, which make it favorable to the installation of windmills for generation of wind energy.
The ambassador of Brazil told the minister about the Brazilian experience in hydroelectric power and mentioned Itaipu dam, the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world in terms of production of electricity, with 200 generation units and 14,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Brito also discussed the Brazilian experience in generation of energy through sugarcane bagasse.
Another meeting of the Brazilian representatives in Erbil was with the minister of Industry of Kurdistan, Nidad Khurdish, who spoke about the privatization projects of state-owned companies and about industrial zone projects.
According to Alaby, the sectors of greatest interest in privatization are agriculture and forestry products, livestock and poultry, ores and metals, chemical products, textiles and garments, paper producers, oil refineries and chemical and pharmaceutical equipment.
The infrastructure projects in Kurdistan for 2009 and 2010, which include construction of highways, basic sanitation and other services for the population, are evaluated at US$ 10 billion, according to Herish Muharam Muhamad, the president of the Investment Council of Kurdistan, to Alaby and Brito.
He also added that he should send information on tenders and bids to the Brazilian embassy and to the Arab Brazilian Chamber so they may disclose the information to Brazilian companies.
The president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Erbil, Dara Jalil Al-Khayat, who is also the vice president of the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said he is interested in improving relations with the Arab Brazilian Chamber.
For this reason, Alaby suggested the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the two chambers for the exchange of information and trade delegations.
According to Alaby, during the meeting with the minister of Trade of Kurdistan, Mohamed Raouf, another topic mentioned was the idea of promoting a trade mission to Brazil headed by the minister.
The Brazilians also met at the end of the week with the minister of Foreign Relations of Kurdistan, Falah Mustapha Bakir, and with the prime minister, Nerchivan Barzani. The meetings with authorities of Kurdistan were part of the program of the Arab Brazilian Chamber's participation in Kurdistan DBX Trade Show – an international fair for the reconstruction of Iraq.