TTE Technical Institute has secured a new project with international energy and water company TAQA to provide technical training to Middle East based technicians.

A group of 13 technicians from TAQA’s Atrush Block oil production facility in the Kurdistan region of Iraq are spending three months in the UK at TTE’s fully-equipped training centre in Middlesbrough to develop practical engineering competencies to achieve internationally-recognised qualifications.

The project is also supporting TAQA’s development of women technicians in the Kurdistan region with one member of the group a female process technician.

Within the group are three technicians working towards Level Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) Level 2 in mechanical engineering and three technicians aiming to achieve the PEO Electrical & Instrumentation Level 2 standard.

The seven remaining technicians are working towards the Process Industry Operations Level 2 qualification. Once completed, all of the qualifications allow for continual development to achieve Level 3.

Working with TTE’s internationally-experienced trainers, the technicians will utilise the training centre’s industry-standard facilities and equipment undertaking a programme of practical, hands-on modules and assessments.

TTE has an established reputation for providing on-site skills and competency assessments for international companies such as TAQA, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi operating in 11 countries across four continents.

This is one of the first significant contracts TTE has secured since it became a Technical Institute earlier this year.  Marking its 30th year in operation, becoming TTE Technical Institute supports its strategy to increase the export of its services to international markets.

Technical Institutes are globally-acknowledged as centres of vocational training, providing learners with skills, competencies and qualifications to enter or advance a career in industry, which is in keeping with TTE’s existing, comprehensive provision.

Contracts such as this also support the training of young people in the North East of England. As a charitable, not-for-profit social enterprise, TTE gift-aids the surplus revenues generated from its commercial training to support the funding of training for apprentices and young learners from schools and colleges in the North East.

Steve Grant, Managing Director of the TTE Technical Institute, said: “We are very proud to establish this new relationship with such a globally-recognised company as TAQA to support the development of its workforce.  This is the another group we have welcomed to TTE from Kurdistan, further extending the reach of the organisation into international markets.

“Exporting our expertise to areas of the world such as West Africa, the Middle East and Asia plays an important role in the training of young people in the North East through the gift-aiding of commercial surpluses into our charity. Increasing our presence in key international markets and securing important projects with companies such as TAQA will generate more opportunities for local young people.”

(Source: TTE)

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) decided May 4 to open an economic representative office in Iraq.

The decision was made during a meeting bringing together executives at Iraq’s Oil Ministry and Iranian oil industry equipment producers, on the sidelines of the Iran Oil Show 2019.

Ramin Gholampour Dezfouli, NIOC’s director for support, construction and goods supply, said only Iranian companies approved by the NIOC will be able to partake in Iraqi Oil Ministry projects.

Click here to read the full story.

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

For much of Iraq’s recent history, the trend has been for educated and talented Iraqis to leave the country, and for Iraq to use its oil revenues to import the expertise it needs.

But that’s changing; to at least some extent, the Iraqi diaspora is returning, innovative home-grown Iraqi businesses are being created, and some are even exporting their goods and services abroad.

One prime example is Arab Payment Services (APS), which I visited on a recent trip to Baghdad. Founded by Ziad Khalaf in 2013, the company now employs 100 people, many of them Iraqis who have returned from overseas with new skills and experience.

The company provides a range of banking-related services, including ATMs, point-of-sale (POS) devices, and payment processing. In this business, proper security is essential. General Manager Haider Alobaidi, who has been with the company from the start, explained:

“Our processes all comply with international standards, such as PCI DSS [Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard] — our reputation depends on flawless execution, so there is no room for error.”

In a country so reliant on cash, is there really a need for such a business? “Most definitely“, says Roger Abhoud, Advisor to the Chairman:

“The demographics are all in our favour. Forty million people, 83 percent of them without bank accounts, increasing by one million people each year — more and more of those people want access to the sorts of services that we can provide, and that trend can only continue. It’s a huge opportunity!”

His vision doesn’t end there. APS has just opened an office in Dubai, and plans to expand internationally.

This is a new and positive phenomenon for Iraq, and one that will provide welcome opportunities in the years ahead.

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is looking to strengthen its economy after decades of war, sanctions, sectarian division and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

It has achieved some progress in recent years thanks to its oil industry; Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and oil provides roughly 85 percent of the government’s revenue.

As the country enters a period of relative calm, Iraq’s oil minister, Thamer Ghadhban, says the government is working to expand its oil industries and improve infrastructure, which includes building more refineries and investing in southern gas fields and export routes.

By John Lee.

Kuwait will reportedly fund the reconstruction of a major border crossing with Iraq.

According to Anadolu Agency, Iraq’s Border Crossing Authority said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the two countries to prepare the infrastructure for the crossing at Safwan.

(Source: Anadolu Agency)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Our friend and former contributor Robert Tollast has been touring Iraq’s religious and archeological sites.

Writing in Middle East Eye, he says:

“Iraq still gives visitors a sense of having a private viewing of some of the world’s wonders, such as the 4,000-year-old ruins of Babylon, and the awe-inspiring Holy Shrines of Hussein and Ali with their intricate mirrored ceilings and breathtaking tile work.”

His full article can be read here.

(Picture Credit: Middle East Eye / Charlotte Mayhew)

Iraq, one of the world’s biggest energy producers, can address its current electricity shortfall and growing power needs through immediate action to relieve pressure on the system, according to an in-depth report published Thursday by the International Energy Agency.

It also provides a medium-term strategy that makes the best use of the country’s abundant oil and natural gas resources and solar potential.

Despite the extraordinary challenges of war in recent years, Iraq has made impressive gains, nearly doubling the country’s oil production over the past decade. But the turmoil has also undermined the country’s ability to maintain and invest in its power infrastructure.

The new IEA report, Iraq’s Energy Sector: A Roadmap to a Brighter Future, maps out immediate practical actions and medium-term measures to tackle the most pressing problems in Iraq’s electricity sector.

The analysis finds Iraq has huge potential to cut its electricity network losses, which are among the highest in the world. Reducing these losses by half would help dramatically improve the efficiency of grid supply, effectively increasing available capacity by one-third.

The report also takes a detailed look at the country’s oil and gas sector. It projects that Iraq’s oil production will grow by 1.3 million barrels a day by 2030, accounting for the third-largest increase globally over the period, and soon becoming the world’s fourth-largest oil producer behind the United States, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The report also notes that more gas can be captured and put to use in efficient power plants. Today, 16 billion cubic meters of gas are flared each year, more than enough to replace Iraq’s current imports.

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director met, with Iraqi President Barham Salih on Wednesday in Baghdad, and presented the study’s findings and recommendations. He then met with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to discuss ways forward for the electricity sector, including making best use of Iraq’s significant natural gas and solar resources.

On Thursday, Dr Birol will discuss the report at a press conference with Thamir Ghadhban, the Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil, and Luay Al-Khatteeb, the Minister of Electricity.

The IEA has worked closely with the Iraqi Ministries of Oil and Electricity to produce the report, and would like to thank the ministers and their staff for their cooperation with this study.

“Operating under extremely challenging circumstances, Iraq has done a remarkable job expanding its oil industry,” said Dr Birol. “Today’s urgent issue is to address the national power sector as the summer heatwave approaches by improving grid maintenance, boosting electricity production with larger mobile generators, and incentivising upgrades of power plants. The IEA is pleased to recommend immediate practical actions for the benefit of the entire Iraqi people, and provide a roadmap for a sustainable power system in the medium term.”

Iraq’s electricity demand is set to double between now and 2030, and its shortfall in electricity supply will widen, as the country’s population grows by more than 1 million people each year.

Without changes to the current structure of electricity supply and improvements to the network, domestic generation, imports and neighbourhood generation would need to double by 2030, for a total supply of over 250 TWh. However, there are many opportunities to improve on this outcome through measures such as investing in transmission and distribution to cut network losses.

Promoting the more efficient use of electricity, including by introducing more progressive tariffs, would play an important role in ensuring that the growth in demand during the summer peak does not continue to outpace supply.

Iraq also needs to take advantage of its abundant renewable energy potential.  The analysis shows that expanding the share of solar PV and wind to 30% of electricity supply by 2030 would bring benefits both to the Iraqi consumer, in the form of reduced electricity bills, and to the environment.

Reducing network losses and moving towards an electricity mix where renewables play a more prominent role would free up 9 billion cubic meters of gas for other uses in 2030, plus 450 kb/d of oil for export.

“In addition to oil, Iraq is blessed with some of the richest solar and gas resources in the world but it is yet to take advantage of them,” Dr Birol said. “Turning that potential into fuel for its own economy and for export would help bring about a more sustainable, reliable and affordable energy future.”

The report is the second in-depth study of Iraq’s energy sector following the publication of the Iraq Energy Outlook in 2012.

Download the report here.

(Source: IEA)

By John Lee.

According to Miriam Malek, writing for S&P Global Platts, Iraq is again becoming a viable destination for energy investment after the final defeat of Islamic State and the election of a new government revived interest in the region’s second-largest oil producer.

The US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran are now vying for a share in the spoils.

Click here to read the full article.

(Source: S&P Global Platts)

By Ahmed Tabaqchali, for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts.

Iraq’s new entrepreneurial generation of civil activists’ sense of civic duty flourished during the trauma brought by the ISIS takeover of a third of the country in 2014, and has continued to grow since then as reviewed in a recent report.

The report into “A New Generation of Activists Circumvents Iraq’s Political Paralysis” also looked into the origins and the determination of these civil activists to “develop solutions to policy problems that the political class has been unable to address”.

Click here to read the full article.