By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included four subway and metropolitan rail projects in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

1. Baghdad Metro

The project consist of two lines with total length of 46km. it has 47 station, two locomotive garages on both lines, and three power transferring stations.

  • The first line (23km 25 station) starts from the main locomotive garage north east of Baghdad through (10*10) project location –previously, to Al Sadir city crossing Al Thawra St. heading to Baghdad center to Al Jimhoriya St. to its final destination Antar Sq.
  • The second line (23km 22 stations) starts from south east of Baghdad near Aqaba Bin Nafee Sq. –Sadoon St. City center, crossing the Tigris to reach Al Faris Al Arabi Sq. forming two branches, one to Al Mansoor and the other to Al Bayaa where the second locomotive garage is located.
  • The project can provide comfortable and efficient transportation services to 250 thousand passenger/h in all stations.
  • Ministry of Transportation contracted a number of specialized consulting companies in the mid-seventies to conduct a study regarding Mass Transit that resulted to using tracks according to the feasible study done in 1978 (Feasibility study and Preliminary Design of an integrated Transport System within the City of Baghdad)
  • A contract was signed with Sestra Co. (French), one of the specialized international companies, to conduct the initial designs and the tender documents under the title (Technical, Legal and Contractual Requirement for Baghdad Metro Project)
  • The estimated cost of the project including detailed designs and execution of the two lines excluding extensions is €5.7b which is roughly $6b according to the French Co. feasible study adding to that $2b for acquisitions, total cost will be $8b. EPC document was based on turnkey delivery system.

2. Baghdad Mono Rail

A vital project with good financial revenues, prepared by French Alstom Co.

  • Estimated cost: $ 1.5b
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Project purpose: to solve traffic jams and improve services in Baghdad.
  • Phases, locations, implementation lines in Baghdad
  • Phase one: 15.5 km, Kadhmiya-Al Sadir City-Shaab, with 12 internal station and crossing the Tigris
  • Phase two: 4.45km, the International Station in Alawi-Utaifiya with two internal stations.

3. Mono Rail in Holy Karbala Province

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Holy Karbala Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem of visitors coming to the Holy city. The project starts from the station Bada’at Aswadin Al-Husainiya District and going toward the Baghdad road taking the middle path of the main road toward Bab Twerej and passing through Al-Salam bridge and then through Al-Ibrahimiya station.

  • Length:18 km/ dual line/ 20 passengers stations.
  • Estimated cost: 450 million dollars.

4. Basra Metro

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Basra Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem.

  • The metro contains 5 main lines with 35 main and branch lines
  • First line: Sa’ad square-Basra University-can be extended to the city center.
  • Second line: sa’ad square-Zubair-can be extended to Safwan
  • Third line: Sa’ad-Al-Ashar-Shalamja
  • Fourth line: Sa’ad square-Abu Al-Khaseeb-Faw
  • Fifth line: Sa’ad square-14th July street-presidential palaces.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

French company Alstom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iraqi government for the development of urban transport in Baghdad and Basra.

The MoU was signed during the Franco-Iraqi government authorities meeting, in the presence of Dr.Sami Al Araji, Head of National Investment Commission (NIC) of Iraq and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French Secretary of State.

The MoU covers two major projects. The first project is to implement a 20 km Elevated Train in Baghdad, with the supply of rolling stock, electromechanical systems, tracks, associated civil works. The light rail system would link Al-Mustansirya, AlShab, Al-Wazyria, Alsarafia AlEtafia bridge, Al-Khadumia, AlMuthana airport and Al-Alawi.

The second project focuses on the development of the Metro System in Basra, which consists of two elevated lines of approximately 30km each, 15 stations and one depot for each line from North to South, from Zubair to Shat Alarab and from East to West, from Karma to the Desert.

These projects would significantly contribute to the development of the country’s urban infrastructure and national economy.

“We appreciate the opportunity to develop industrial cooperation with the Republic of Iraq, in order to better address the country’s needs for urban transportation. Alstom is ready to bring its innovative technologies and sees the signature of this MoU as a first step towards the development of a long-term partnership with Iraq”, said Bernard Peille, Managing Director of Alstom in Western & Central Asia.

Alstom is already well established in the Middle East & Africa Region with more than 3,800 employees, 1,800 suppliers and present in more than 15 countries in the region with offices and joint-ventures in Algeria, Morocco, South Africa and Kazakhstan.

(Source: Alstom)

Alstom has been awarded a contract worth approximately €225 million to provide power generation equipment for the Al-Anbar gas-fired combined-cycle power plant being built in the Anbar province in Iraq.

A consortium of Metka SA and Metka Overseas Ltd is building the power plant for the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.

The 1,642 MW power plant, due to be commissioned in 2016, will add much needed electricity to the Iraqi grid. Once in operation, it will be one of the largest and most efficient combined-cycle power plants in Iraq.

Under the scope of the contract, Alstom will supply four highly efficient GT26 gas turbines, four Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG’s), two steam turbines and six air-cooled turbogenerators.

Commenting on the contract, Steve Meszaros, Senior Vice-President of Alstom’s Gas business said:

The Middle East is the most promising market for gas-fired generation and we are extremely pleased at expanding our presence in this region. Alstom has been a steady partner in the reconstruction of Iraq’s energy infrastructure and we are confident that our superior technology will make Al-Anbar a flagship project for the country”.

Alstom is currently constructing the Al-Mansuriya (728MW) gas-fired power plant in the Diyala Governorate, northeast of Baghdad and has also recently signed the 740 MW Zubair contract with ENI Iraq B.V. These plants are based on the GT13E2 gas turbine.

Alstom has also supplied the gas turbine for the Al-Najaf power plant that went into operation last year. Alstom continues to support the rehabilitation of Iraq’s existing installed base including unit 1 of the Najaf gas-fired power station, 160 km south of Baghdad.

(Source: Alstom)

Alstom has secured a contract with Eni Iraq B.V. to build the 740 MW Zubair gas-fired power plant near Basra. The contract is valued at close to €400 million.

For this turnkey project, Alstom will be responsible for engineering, building and commissioning the plant as well as supplying key equipment – most notably four highly reliable GT13E2 gas turbines.

Technical support and engineering expertise for the project will come from Alstom’s Power Generation headquarters in Baden, Switzerland, and its German gas turbine manufacturing facility in Mannheim.

Gas Business Senior Vice President, Steve Meszaros, said:

Capturing the Zubair project is another confirmation of Alstom’s strong presence in Iraq’s gas-fired power generation sector … As the country pushes forward with reconstruction and expansion efforts, Alstom is yet again there to work with partners to assist in modernising Iraqi infrastructure.

The plant will support the expansion of the Zubair oil field near Basra. This project will make Alstom the only original equipment manufacturer to have secured more than one engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in Iraq, following its success securing the similar Al Mansurya plant project north-east of Baghdad in 2011.

(Source: Alstom)

More than 30 senior representatives of some of France’s biggest businesses were in Paris on Fridayto hear the Executive Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) talk about the organisation’s work and ambitions for the future.

Baroness Nicholson was joined by the Council’s COO, Christophe Michels, at the event which was held in the Iraqi Embassy. The Ambassador, Fareed Yasseen and his UK counterpart, Faik Nerweyi, were also in attendance.

Businessmen and woman from companies such as Alstom, Total, Schneider, and the MEDEF listened to Baroness Nicholson speak about the huge opportunities on offer to enterprising firms willing to invest in Iraq.

The Baroness pointed out that the country’s economy was one of the most vibrant in the world, despite the current challenging situation in some regions. Growth was at nine per cent a year, and with the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world, the future was bright.

The Executive Chairman was delighted with the success of the event.

For some time we have been keen to expand the IBBC’s portfolio. Our members already include almost all of the biggest firms in the UK that do business in Iraq. Following today’s event, we feel we have convinced many of France’s leading companies to follow suit.

Baroness Nicholson added:

“We are hopeful that the likes of Alstom and Total will now look seriously to join our organisation. This can only make the IBBC stronger, and underline its position as the leading organisation for the region.

Later, Mr Yaseem hosted an exclusive lunch at the Paris embassy, which was attended by the IBBC delegation, French business leaders, and the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs and founder of Doctors without Borders, Mr Bernard Kouchner.

(Source: IBBC)