Finland’s Nokia will modernize and expand Zain Iraq‘s radio networks with its most advanced technologies across Karbala, Najaf and Basra, with a special focus on the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, to support the expected increase in data and voice traffic during Zeyara as millions of people converge on the region.

Zeyara is an annual event in the holy city of Karbala, which culminates in the event of Al Arba’een. It attracts visitors from across the globe and is one of the world’s largest public gatherings.

Once completed, the upgrade will allow users to enjoy improved indoor and outdoor coverage in both urban and rural areas as well as increased data throughput, leading to an overall superior customer experience.

Nokia’s project management and proven services expertise will be used to expand and modernize Zain Iraq’s 2G and 3G network, providing ubiquitous coverage and faster mobile broadband.

Additionally, the Nokia Mass Event Handler will be deployed to address the surge in data and voice consumption expected during Zeyara. The network modernization will allow visitors to remain continuously connected with their loved ones through superior voice and data connectivity during Al Arba’een and beyond.

Ali Al-Zahid, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Iraq, said:

Our top priority is to provide superior services for our subscribers. This network modernization and expansion is only the beginning of providing the best possible service quality and coverage with the most advanced technologies across the overall Karbala and Najaf and rest of sourthern region.

“We selected Nokia, our longstanding technology partner, for this important project, as we are confident that its advanced technologies will enable our network to provide such superior services. The current project will also enable a best-in-class mobile experience for visitors to Zeyara when we expect a high turnout this year.

Bernard Najm, head of the Middle East Market Unit at Nokia, said:

“Nokia fully understands Zain Iraq’s requirements and is committed to providing leading technologies to enable pioneering services for its subscribers. Nokia’s solutions cater to the unique connectivity requirements of mass events, and will help Zain Iraq address the expected surge in data and voice consumption during Zeyara.”

Overview of the solutions:

  • The high capacity and energy-efficient Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station will be used to add the third carrier of 5 MHz on the 900 MHz band, to enhance capacity and increase coverage in suburban and rural areas.
  • Nokia’s Mass Event Handler will ensure network performance is not adversely affected because of heavy traffic during Zeyara. Another feature of the software – HSUPA Interference Cancellation – handles data more efficiently, enabling end users to upload pictures without any network glitch.
  • Nokia FlexiZone will be deployed to enhance coverage and capacity of the existing 3G network in Karbala.
  • Nokia’s refarming service will refarm GSM 900 MHz frequency to expand the operator’s 3G network.
  • Nokia’s NetAct virtualized network management software will provide robust capabilities for troubleshooting, assurance, administration, software management and configuration.
  • Nokia’s Network Planning and Optimization (NPO), Network Implementation , and Care services will ensure smooth execution of the project and maximize the return on Zain’s technology investments.

(Source: Nokia)

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

To fight climate change in Basra, where summer temperatures now regularly rise to over 50 degrees Centigrade, locals plan to plant 16 million trees. The volunteers are on course for 1 million in 2017.

In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, locals are taking matters into their own hands to fight climate change. “In recent years temperatures in Basra have exceeded 50 degrees Centigrade,” explains Alaa Hashim al-Badran, head of the union of agricultural engineers in Basra. “And that is dangerous.”

The ramifications of ongoing climate change mean that the city and its inhabitants may face even higher temperatures in the future. To try and ameliorate the impact, locals have started planting trees. They intend to have planted a million of them shortly, and 16 million in the next few years.

Al-Badran says the idea for a tree-planting campaign was first suggested in the middle of the year and has since progressed rapidly. There are a hundred volunteers and over 15,000 supporters online, he notes, and in the near future, there should be even more people involved.

Citing the example of successful tree planting in Gulf Arab countries, al-Badran and his colleagues believe this may be one of the only ways to prevent Basra from deadly over-heating.



“Over the next few years we plan to plant 16 million trees here,” he told NIQASH. “The first phase starts in September and goes until mid-November. Then we will start again in mid-February and carry on until mid-April next year. The first objective is to plant 1 million trees.”

Hutchison Ports and the Pritzker Family Business Interests (“PFBI”), advised by The Pritzker Organization, L.L.C. (“TPO”), announced today that the leading Hong Kong-based port operator has agreed to partner with NAWAH Port Management, L.L.C. (“NPM”) to manage existing and future operations at the historic Port of Basra in southern Iraq.

Hutchison Ports will assume oversight of day-to-day commercial and operational activities at NPM, operating under the name of Hutchison Ports Basra.

NPM is a containerized terminal operator at the Port of Basra located along the Shatt Al Arab waterway in Iraq.

The company services the shipping needs for a full spectrum of customers across Iraq – from large, multinational companies to local Iraqi merchants. NPM’s proximity to the city center and major oilfields, and its operations are viewed as key competitive advantages versus other ports in the region.

Andy Tsoi, Hutchison Ports’ Managing Director (Middle East and Africa), said:

We view NPM’s operations at the Port of Basra as an integral piece of our expanding Middle East strategy and are excited about the opportunities this partnership creates.

“We believe strongly in the growth story of Basra, Iraq, and the Middle East as a whole and are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in and support the growth of the business over the long term.

Eric Clark, CEO of NPM, said:

Hutchison Ports has an exceptional team and a proven track record of delivering value to its customers, employees and the regions in which it invests.

“We are delighted for the opportunity to partner with one of the leaders in the industry – a company which shares our vision of NPM as both a unique maritime asset in southern Iraq as well as strategic platform in the epicenter of one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

Eversheds LLP served as legal advisor to Hutchison Ports and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to the PFBI during the deal process.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

(Source: Press Release)

Work is almost complete on AMAR‘s latest exciting educational project in Iraq.

The state-of-the-art Secondary School in Basra is expected to begin teaching its 500+ students in October.

Ten percent of that number will be orphans who will receive a fantastic education completely free of charge, thanks to AMAR’s generous supporters.

Please help ensure Iraq’s children have the childhoods they deserve — support AMAR’s work today:

(Source: AMAR International Charitable Foundation)

By John Lee.

The governor Basra has reportedly stepped down and gone to Iran following an investigation by the Integrity Commission into allegations of corruption against him.

The Integrity Commission has asking the foreign ministry in Baghdad to ask Iran to repatriate Majid al-Nasrawi.

According to a report from Reuters, a Basra-based politician close to Nasrawi said the accusations were “politically motivated“.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Al-Iraqia Shipping Services & Oil Trading (AISSOT) has announced it will start bunkering operations at several Iraqi ports, with a focus on Basra, Khor Al-Zubair and Umm Qasr.

According to a report from Ship and Bunker, the company — a joint-venture company of Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) and Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company (AMPTC) — says it will handle various activities including bunkering, trading of petroleum products, ship chartering, oil terminals, and various other marine services.

Iraqi ports are growing exponentially as shipping hubs … and AISSOT is confident to cater to all marine-related needs of the shipping lines calling Iraq, anchorage area and nearby ports by offering them end-to-end bunkering solutions meeting international standards on quality and safety,” the company said.

(Source: Ship and Bunker)

Advertising Feature

Key figures of the Iraqi Government and Ministries have confirmed their attendance at the annual Basra Oil, Gas & Infrastructure Conference due to take place on 30-31 October in Beirut, to highlight the current investment projects available in Basra’s multiple industries and facilitate a direct dialogue towards promoting further business in Iraq’s Economic Capital.

The official meeting is held under the high patronage of the Basra Governorate and the Basra Council, with the support and participation of Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Basra Oil Company, and Lebanese Ministry for Energy & Water and the Petroleum Administration for the Lebanese Republic.

Distinguished Speakers include:

  • E. Dhia Jaffar, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
  • E. Cesar Abi Khalil, Minister of Energy & Water Resources, Lebanese Republic
  • E. Thamir Ghadhban, Former Oil Minster & Advisor to Iraq’s PM, Federal Government of Iraq
  • E. Engineer Mohammed Al Tamimi, First Deputy Governor of Basra Governorate of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
  • MP Dr Jamal Abdul-Zahra Muhammadawi, Member of the Parliament Representing Basra, Federal Parliament of Iraq
  • Wissam Zahabi, Chairman of the Board, Petroleum Administration, Lebanese Republic
  • E. Abbas Omran Mousa, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Transportation, Federal Government of Iraq
  • Ali Shadad Al Fares, Head of the Energy Committee, Basra Council, Federal Government of Iraq
  • Ihsan Abduljabbar Ismaael Al – Saade, Director General of the South Gas Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
  • Nafaa Abdulsada Ali Al-Hmidawi, Director General of Training & Development Office, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
  • Naser Muhsin Muhan, Head of Licensing & Contracts, Basra Oil Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq

View full list of speakers here:

The Basra province in the south of Iraq is home to 70% of Iraq’s gas reserves and 59% of its oil, offering valuable investment projects in a variety of sectors and providing a secure environment for developers to enter and operate in Iraq. Its strategic location with access to Persian Gulf via the ports of Al Maqal and Umm Qasr, provides huge advantages in the development of Basra and its numerous industries: oil, gas, power, petrochemicals, infrastructure, construction, transport, logistics and others.

The renowned Conference will address opportunities, projects and tenders in each one of these industries through its 2 day Strategic Programme. With an easy to follow guide on which sectors are covered in each session, attendees can expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Current updates on Basra’s oil fields,
  • Infrastructure Contracts
  • Procurement processes for accessing tenders
  • Developing the transport and logistics sector
  • Ultimate gas utilization
  • Electricity projects
  • Reconstruction of Iraq Tenders

View the full programme here:

Swiss-based ABB has won an order to supply and install a substation at the 3,000 megawatt (MW) Rumaila power plant, located in the Basra region of southern Iraq.

The completed power plant will be operated by Shamara Holding Group (SHG), one of Iraq’s largest private industrial conglomerates and an independent power producer.

The Rumaila power plant is expected to increase power generation capacity by about 20 percent and address acute shortages of electricity, hampering economic growth in the country. The order was booked in the second quarter of 2017.

The 3,000 MW from the Rumaila power plant will add to Iraq’s current generation of 13,000 MW, which is short of the country’s peak load demand of about 23,000 MW. Iraq balances its high power demand and low supply capacity through load shedding, which means power is only available to its 34 million citizens for about 15 hours each day. The addition of new generating plants will increase electricity supply, and support economic growth.

ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the 400 kilovolt (kV) air insulated switchgear (AIS) substation, which will be equipped with technology and instrument transformers from ABB. The substation will also be equipped with advanced digital control, protection and telecommunication systems.

Claudio Facchin (pictured), president of ABB’s Power Grids division, said:

Our advanced substation solution will help bring much needed electricity to the region by expanding capacity and strengthening Iraq’s power infrastructure, bringing much needed power to consumers.

“This project adds to our extensive installed base in the region and supports our Next Level strategic thrust on growing markets.

(Source: ABB)

The Ministry of Transport in cooperation with the National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced investment opportunities for commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes according to the location of each lot of land.

Investors willing to invest lands referred to are required to send their applications to the Ministry of transport/ Investment Dept.

Or to NIC:

Or to concerned provincial investment commissions

  Land No. District name and number Area Province Notes
1 1/24 6 Abo Mahar 10 donum and 10 Olk Samawa  
2 35/5 6 Abo Mahar 34 donum Samawa  
3 35/2 6 Abo Mahar 35 donum Samawa  
4 7/186 6 Abo Mahar 19 donum Samawa  
5 2/1 23 Basateen al – Rebooty 23 Olk Samawa  
6 16/176 44 al- Maaqal 1 donum and 4 Olk Basra  
7 11/412 44 al- Maaqal 8 Olk Basra  
8 11/411 44 al- Maaqal 10 Olk Basra  
9 145/1 14 Southern Jumjuma 2 donum and 16 Olk Babil The removed railway road
10 138/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 15 Olk and 90 Meter Babil The removed railway road
11 140/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 1 donum and 14 Olk Babil The removed railway road
12 141 14 Southern Jumjuma 2 donum and 11 Olk Babil The removed railway road
13 135/8 14 Southern Jumjuma 3 Olk Babil The removed railway road
14 125/1 14 Southern Jumjuma 6 Olk Babil The removed railway road
15 131/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 7 Olk Babil The removed railway road
16 123/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 190 M² Babil The removed railway road
17 68 14 Southern Jumjuma 2400 M² Babil The removed railway road
18 54/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 3 donum and 5 Olk Babil The removed railway road
19 139/3 14 Southern Jumjuma 4 donum and 13 Olk Babil The removed railway road
20 119/2 14 Southern Jumjuma 10 Olk Babil The removed railway road

(Source: NIC)

Iran‘s Islamic Azad University (IAU) seeks to boost cooperation with the neighboring countries and allies, a senior official at the 35-year-old organization said, unveiling plans for opening new branches in Iraq and Lebanon.

Head of the Founding Council and Board of Trustees of the Islamic Azad University Ali Akbar Velayati said on Tuesday that his organization has focused on supporting the neighboring and friendly countries as part of its international plans.

The IAU is going to open universities and academic centers in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra and in the Arab country’s Kurdish regions, he added.

Velayati further pointed to a shortage of scientific centers for those interested in receiving higher education in Lebanon, saying the IAU has been in correspondence with Secretary General of the Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement Seyed Hassan Nasrallah in order to open offices in Lebanon and to promote cooperation with the Lebanese academic centers.

Founded in 1982, the Islamic Azad University is a private network of academic centers. It has more than 30 state university branches with 400 campuses and research centers across the country. The IAU has several overseas branches as well.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)