(Bloomberg) --

Iraq awarded seven projects to generate solar power as part of a plan to produce 10 gigawatts of solar energy by the end of 2030, Iraq Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in a statement.

The solar power projects are located across the country and will generate a total of 750 megawatts, according to the ministry statement that did not disclose the names of the companies which won the contracts. The biggest plant will be located in Karbala province, with a designed capacity of 300 megawatts. The other plants will be in the provinces of Babel, Muthanna and Wasit, it said.

Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is seeking to generate 20% of its total power production capacity from renewable sources to help ease the pressure on the country’s hydrocarbon-powered electricity plants. Iraqis continue to experience several hours of power outages every day.

Iraq is in discussions with international companies such as Total SA and some Norwegian developers to build more renewable energy projects in the country, Abdul Jabbar said. Total has expressed readiness to work on renewable energy projects in Iraq, according to the statement.

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