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Siemens may have to share big Iraq power contract with GE

ZURICH: Siemens may have to share a multi-billion dollar deal with US rival General Electric to improve Iraq's energy supply system following an intervention by President Donald Trump's administration, The Financial Times reported.

The US government intervened in favour of GE and put pressure on the Baghdad government, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Although no decision has been made, Siemens had been the favourite to win the contract to supply 11 gigawatts of power generation equipment to Iraq in a deal reported to be worth around $15 billion.

But the Trump administration reminded the Iraqi government that 7,000 US personnel had died since the 2003 invasion which overthrew Saddam Hussein, the people said.

GE, which has been battling a severe downturn in its power division, is now expected to take a substantial part of the sale, which could be included in its figures when it reports its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 30.

Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser had traveled to Iraq in September and spoke with outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi about the contract.

Since then Abadi has been replaced by Adel Abdul-Mahdi. Meanwhile US pressure in favour of GE has intensified, the report said.

Siemens loses $15bn Iraq power-generation contract to GE

U.S. persuades Iraq to quash Siemens power deal in favor of GE

Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with GE in recent days after senior U.S. officials warned Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that the future of the U.S.-Iraq relationship would be at risk if his government accepted the deal with Siemens, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. The Financial Times reported the U.S. move earlier Thursday.

The Trump administration's push supports American efforts to curb Iranian influence in Iraq and the region in the months since President Donald Trump backed out of a 2015 nuclear deal and prepares to re-impose sanctions on Iran next month. The U.S. officials said they want to wean Iraq of its dependence on Iranian natural gas and suspect Iran had spurred Iraqi leaders to pursue the Siemens deal as a way of undercutting ties with the U.S.

"This is part of very strong campaign of engagement in Iraqi government formation and a very targeted effort to support the Iraqi government and minimize Iranian influence," said Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman. "It's part of our overall effort to evict the Iranians rather than to invite them in."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Thu Oct 18th, 2018 at 08:34:15 AM EST

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