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Cablegate: Electricity to Northern Iraq: Import Permit

VZCZCXRO2698
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAK #0227 0390502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 080502Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 1128
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5164
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2679
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3854
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/425ABG IZMIR TU//CC//
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA//
RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/MNF IRAQ C2 OPS

UNCLAS ANKARA 000227

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG IZ PREL TU
SUBJECT: ELECTRICITY TO NORTHERN IRAQ: IMPORT PERMIT
APPROVED, BUT TECHNICAL DELAYS KEEP POWER OFF

REF: ANKARA 172

1. (SBU) The Kartet electricity plant in Turkey that
supplies electricity to northern Iraq ran out of fuel and
shut down on January 2. The plant is fueled by Iraqi heavy
fuel oil. As reported reftel, the final hurdle to getting
fuel deliveries resumed and the plant restarted was issuance
of an oil import permit by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign
Trade, which wanted Kartet to first amend its contract with
Iraqi oil company SOMO. That amendment was delivered to
Foreign Trade on February 5. We expected the permit would be
issued on February 6 and fuel trucks would begin delivery to
Kartet's plant the same day. However, despite Foreign
Trade's approval of the import permit, computer problems have
so far prevented Customs officials at the border from being
able to call up the approved permit online. We expect this
delay to be resolved in the next 24-48 hours.

2. (SBU) Kartet received the contract amendment from SOMO on
February 4, and signed and delivered it to the MFA the same
day. The document was delivered to Foreign Trade on February
5, with MFA's recommendation that Foreign Trade immediately
issue the fuel oil import permit to Kartet. Foreign Trade
officials met on February 6 and agreed to issue the import
permit. The process of issuing the permit requires the
Foreign Trade Exports Department to open documents in its
computer system, approve them, and then forward the approved
documents to Customs. Customs officials at Habur Gate border
station can call up the documents online, see that they are
approved, and clear the fuel trucks to cross the border. At
least, that is how the system is supposed to work.

3. (SBU) However, despite repeated efforts over the past 24
hours, Customs officials at Habur Gate are still unable to
call up any of the approved Foreign Trade documents online.
Kartet officials tell us that they have personnel working
directly with Customs and Foreign Trade, can see that
officials in Ankara are authorizing documents online, but
also can see that Customs officials at Habur cannot see these
authorizations and will not let the trucks enter without them.

4. (SBU) Kartet officials say they are optimistic that these
bureaucratic delays will be resolved in the next two days.
Foreign Trade called in their software vendor yesterday, but
they have so far been unable to resolve the problem. In
frustration, the Foreign Trade Agreements Division Director
delivered a letter to Customs in Ankara at 1400 on February
7, saying that the Karetet import permit is approved and
asking Customs to allow the fuel trucks to enter Turkey.
Howewer, as of 1700, Customs in Habur still had not received
a copy of the letter.

Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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