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Syria Completes Network to Export Power to Iraq, Mashfej Says

May 31 (Bloomberg) -- Syria completed work on a power network to export electricity to neighboring Iraq and is ready to negotiate sales contracts, a Syrian government official said.

Syria will test the network for 72 hours before starting talks, Hisham Mashfej, deputy electricity minister, said in a telephone interview from Damascus today.

Syria increased power exports by 70 percent to 1.05 billion kilowatt-hours last year as domestic output increased 7.2 percent to 46.4 billion kilowatt-hours, the Ministry of Electricity said in a report on May 4.

Iraq asked Syria for permission to join a regional power grid to import electricity from Turkey, state-sponsored Iraqiya television said March 15. The regional grid connects Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian territories.

Iraq has been facing violent street protests demanding improved living conditions and electricity supply.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lina Ibrahim in Dubai librahim4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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