Parliamentary Finance announces important details on the budget {expanded}
1/24/2019

The Parliamentary Finance Committee announced important details about the federal budget for 2019.


The Committee said in a joint press conference held in the House of Representatives after the adoption of the budget attended by the correspondent of the agency {Euphrates News} that "worked from the early morning hours of Wednesday until the last hours of the night to achieve justice and reduce the budget deficit and end the suffering of the Iraqi people,

That "the most prominent paragraph worked by the Committee is to stop the new loans from abroad and rely on internal lending from the Pension Fund."

She added that she "made a great effort and bleeding human beings to the Iraqi people to achieve the budget of 2019, which included a lot of treatments for the segments of society, including the delayed contracts in the Ministries of Interior and Defense and the allocation of salaries for madmen in schools in all provinces.

"The budget also dealt with other social issues, including the social protection network, health and education by carrying out important transfers and also worked to reduce and pressure spending and stop any new external borrowing," noting that "this budget is characteristic of the rest of the budgets is the cessation of external borrowing."

"It dealt with a lot of problems where it allocated $ 3 trillion dinars for the development of regions in all provinces and trillion dinars to build a thousand new schools, and 500 billion dinars to the Ministry of Health and 500 billion dinars to meet the shortage of medicines if it happened, and 250 billion dinars to the social protection network and 200 Billion dinars extra for the ration card items. "

The committee also allocated 300 billion dinars to the Foundation of the martyrs, and the first time recognizes 400 billion dinars to start the actual establishment of the port of Faw and allocated an additional 152 billion dinars for the maintenance of dams and the distribution of more than one trillion dinars over the trillions to the provinces, and approved the allocation of funds for two important laws, Babylon, Iraq’s historic capital and Samarra, Iraq’s capital of Islamic civilization. "

"We also allocated a monthly tranche of 125 thousand dinars to all lecturers in all provinces, and the installation of all contracts of the Ministry of Electricity, whether investment or operational, and gave us the Council of Ministers permission to begin to install the procedure and contracts.

The committee also allocated 70% of the development of the provinces and 30% of the new projects. We also allocated additional funds to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for 125 million dinars for the purpose of expanding student admission.

We allocated more than 300 billion dollars to the Ministry of Housing and Construction to open the new international road. On the bridge of the two floors as well as the road [Abu Ghraib – Latifieh – Hala] and also allocated sums for the road Qar (architecture – Batir – Aldair). "

The Parliamentary Finance Committee pointed out "the allocation of funds to the Secretariat of Baghdad by 95 billion dinars and allocated sums for the road {Hawija – Kirkuk} and the road {Mosul – Erbil}

and allocated amounts to Halabja and Sulaymaniyah to build a center for bone and cancer tumors, as we allocated to the University of Shatra in the province of Dhi Qar, Basra province allocated additional funds estimated at 100 billion dinars. "

The committee concluded its conference by saying that it "decided to limit the funds collected from the provinces added to the allocations of ministries."

http://alforatnews.com/modules/news/…storyid=186033

Iraqi Ministry of Electricity and GE Power celebrate inauguration of Baghdad West North Substation

Underlining their joint commitment to support the development of Iraq’s power infrastructure, the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity (MoE) and GE Power’s Grid Solutions business (NYSE: GE) celebrated the energization of the Baghdad West North substation.

Located about 35 kilometers away from the city, the substation can help connect up to 1,000 megawatts (MW) to the national grid, decreasing bottlenecks and increasing the hours of available power. The event was attended by H.E. the Prime Minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, senior officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity including H.E. Minister Luay Al-Khatteeb, various government entities, GE and other organizations.

H.E. Luay Al-Khatteeb, Minister of Electricity, said:

“The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity is seeking to provide reliable, uninterrupted power across the country. The opening of the Baghdad West North substation reflects our efforts to achieve this goal. The substation will play a critical role in helping to deliver much-needed power, especially in the upcoming summer months.”

GE’s scope of work for the turnkey 400/132/11 kilovolt (kV) gas insulated substation project included the design, equipment manufacturing, site delivery, erection, testing & commissioning, and training of personnel. The project’s construction, erection, commissioning, and testing was completed by GE Iraqi engineers in collaboration with local Iraqi subcontractors.

The facility can feed 132 kV substations at Kadhmiya, Al Shualla and Al Sabbeaat, as well as another five substations that are planned to be developed in the future and helps connect power from the Basmaya Power Plant, Taji Gas Power Plant and mobile gas power plants to the national grid.

The energization of the substation reflects our commitment to support Iraq in building a robust electricity infrastructure,” said Mohammed Mohaisen, President & CEO of GE Power’s Grid Solutions business in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey.

Our turnkey approach to project development helps bring best-in-class technology and expertise across every touch-point of the project. As a partner in the country’s progress, we will continue to deliver on our promise to the Iraqi people of supporting the government to build a stable electricity network that meets their needs.

Following the agreement for the Baghdad West North substation, GE also signed a US$400 million agreement to develop and rehabilitate 14 additional electric substations, and to supply critical equipment such as transformers, circuit breakers and other related equipment.

The substations will connect power plants spread across the governorates of Ninawa, Salah Al Din, Al Anbar, Karbala, Baghdad, Qadisiyyah and Basra to the national grid. Several of the locations, in conflict-affected areas, have an immediate need of reliable power infrastructure.

GE employs up to 300 people in Iraq and has three offices in the country – in Baghdad, Basra and Erbil. Today, GE and its partner CFMI power more than 90 percent of the aircrafts operated by Iraqi Airways, the company’s technologies contribute up to 55 percent of the current electricity production in Iraq and nearly 4,000 GE Healthcare products are deployed in hospitals and clinics across the country.

(Source: GE)

MAN Energy Solutions has successfully commissioned six MAN 18V32/40 engines in a cement factory in Samawa, Iraq, and delivered five more engines of the same type to a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra.

“The country’s infrastructure has suffered greatly from armed conflict in the past and the re-electrification of Iraq is pivotal for further growth and new prosperity. We are very happy that our engines will bring such tangible, positive benefits to the Iraqi people,” said Waldemar Wiesner, Head of Region MEA (Middle-East Africa), Power Plant Sales, MAN Energy Solutions.

Defying the desert

The six engines in Samawa form the backbone of a power plant that will generate around 54 MW of electrical energy for a new cement plant owned by Iraqi producer, Kairat Al Abar Iraqi Co. (KAAI).

Samawa has a population of around 150,000 and is located on the River Euphrates, half way between Baghdad and the Persian Gulf. Conditions locally are testing with a rainfall of just 100 mm over the course of a year, while temperatures peak at over 40°C from June to September. “The heat and dry desert climate create demanding conditions for industrial processes,” said Wiesner. “However, our MAN 32/40 engines are particularly robust and well capale of delivering a reliable power supply under such extreme climatic conditions.”

Fresh water in Basra

Five MAN 18V32/40 engines with a total capacity of 45 MW will guarantee the energy supply of a freshwater-treatment plant in Basra, a city with 2.5 million people located on the Persian Gulf. Normally, the plant operates with electricity from the public grid. However, since Iraq’s energy supply still fluctuates strongly, the MAN engines will serve as an important backup to ensure the reliable operation of the plant.

“In Iraq, more than five million people have only limited access to drinking water or sanitary facilities. With this new freshwater plant, the quality of life for the people of Basra will increase significantly,” said Wiesner. “In the event of power failures, which unfortunately still occur frequently, our engines will ensure a stable energy supply so that Basra’s population has access to fresh water at all times.”

(Source: MAN Energy Solutions)

By John Lee.

King Abdullah II of Jordan arrives in Baghdad today on an official visit to Iraq for talks with President Barham Salih, and Prime Minister Adil Abd Al Mahdi and senior officials, with a view to strengthening bilateral relations and regional development.

According to a report from The Arab Weekly, the two countries are planning a border industrial zone with a possible 50,000 jobs. It would also facilitate exports of tax-exempted Jordanian goods to the Iraqi market.

In recent weeks, the two countries have agreed a series of measures to increase cooperation between the two countries, including a plan to finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will run from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019.

They have also agreed to upgrade the al-Karamah – Terbil Border Crossing.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, The Arab Weekly)

By John Lee.

Oil production at Majnoon oilfield is reportedly planned to increase from 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) currently to 290,000 bpd by the end of 2019 and 450,000 bpd by the end of 2021.

State-owned Basra Oil Company (BOC) took over the field from Shell and Petronas at the end of June 2018, with operations and maintenance contracted to Chinese company Anton Oilfield Services Group (Antonoil) and the US company KBR.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)

Russia’s Lukoil has successfully completed testing of the fourth well as part of Eridu field (Block 10) appraisal phase in the south of Iraq.

The testing resulted in the commercial flow of dry crude oil that proves the current geological model of Eridu field as effective. ​

Lukoil continues geological exploration at Block 10. For instance, the company plans to drill and test several appraisal wells and to complete 3D and 2D seismic surveys for Eridu field and the block’s southern and central parts, respectively.

Block 10, covering 5.8 thousand square kilometers, is located 150 kilometers west of Basra, 120 kilometers away from West Qurna-2 field.

Interests in the project: Lukoil – 60% (operator), Inpex Corporation (Japan) – 40%. The Iraqi party to the agreement is represented by the state-owned Dhi Qar Oil Company (DQOC).

(Source: Lukoil)

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

UN seeks to raise awareness of bias against African-Iraqis

A recently convened UN committee addressed discrimination against many minorities in many countries, including Iraqis of African descent. Its conclusions shed light on the marginalization of this almost forgotten minority — forgotten especially years after the 2013 assassination of one of its main leaders, Jalal Diab, in Basra.

Diab had posters of Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama on the walls of his school dedicated to teaching poor African-Iraqis in the slums of the Az Zubayr area of Basra.

The two pictures showed an unexpected awakening of identity in the areas of the oil-rich Basra province where this minority lives. And this same province has witnessed popular protests in recent years.

Click here to read the full story.

Dirty Debts Iraq is losing billions of dollars and two oil exporters with Saudi power
1/3/2019


BAGHDAD / The oil expert,
Hamza al-Jawahiri, said Thursday that Saudi Arabia has taken control of an Iraqi oil port and a pipeline under the pretext that it is asking Iraq for financial debts, indicating that these debts are "dirty" debts that are unfounded.


"Iraq was established in the eighties of the last century, the port," Yanbu "oil in addition to a pipeline of 1200 kilometers between him and Saudi Arabia for the purpose of diversifying his rival, but these two implementations acquired by Saudi Arabia since then, under the pretext that it requires Iraq

"These debts are dirty and unregistered debts at the United Nations, because Saudi Arabia has financed the Iraq war and these are considered unofficial debts because they are debts of war."


"Unfortunately, the successive Iraqi governments since 2003 have not yet solved the file of oil ports or the debts demanded by some Gulf countries and estimated at $ 42 billion, and it remained the same without settlement, the ports are for Iraq and debt is informal but Iraqi governments They did not move at all. "


The term "dirty" is a universally agreed term called debt that finances wars and is considered informal debt.


An Iraqi official said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia had used an oil port on the Red Sea, which was built with Iraqi funds, while the Iraqi side objected.


The Gulf newspaper quoted the official as saying that "Iraq is seeking clarification from the Saudi side on the use of the Kingdom in recent period a port of oil on the Red Sea, was built with Iraqi funds as part of an agreement concluded at the end of the eighties between the two countries to diversify sources of Iraqi oil export, but stopped after the war Gulf".


"The project includes the extension of a strategic oil pipeline from the fields of Basra in southern Iraq, with a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day and ends in Saudi territory at the port of Majaz, near the port of Yanbu Saudi Red Sea.

The port was built according to an agreement between the two countries with Iraqi funds, However, Riyadh has no right to act without returning to Baghdad as the owner of the right to invest in it. "


He pointed out that "Iraq is determined to seek clarification from the Saudis about the port of Al-Mujaz and the unilateral use of it," explaining that "the port was built with Iraqi funds, which is like any investment project governed by laws and agreements.


The port of Al-Majas started exporting before the first Gulf War broke out. However, it stopped exporting after the Iraqi pipeline stopped in 1990. The port was changed during the last period from the port of Al-Majas to the southern port of Yanbu.

http://aynaliraqnews.com/index.php?aa=news&id22=111706

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.

By Mustafa Habib.

Drama On Iraq’s Councils After Provincial Elections Are Cancelled Again

Conflict at federal level is complicating local politics too. Provincial elections have not been held for five years and council leadership no longer reflects the country’s new political reality.

In the weeks before the end of the year, Iraq’s provincial councillors saw plenty of drama. There were attempted dismissals of various governors, actual dismissals and political coups and in-fighting among state-level politicians.

In mid-December, a new governor was chosen for Baghdad by councillors representing parties at federal level. But then other councillors, representing opposition parties at federal level, chose a completely different new governor.

Members of two groups – the Sairoun alliance led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the National Wisdom party, led by another cleric, Ammar al-Hakim – chose the first new governor. Then, provincial councillors from the parties that oppose those two groups stepped in and selected another candidate from their own ranks instead.

At this stage, the Iraqi president, Barham Saleh, intervened, refusing to ratify either candidate and referring the matter to the courts.

A similar situation arose in Basra where provincial council members who tried to elect a new governor were prevented from doing so by protestors outside the council buildings, who supported the sitting governor. The involvement of security staff meant that a vote could not be held. And in Najaf, the sitting governor there was also dismissed. More firings are expected in other Iraqi provinces too.

Why the drama? Because the country has not held provincial elections since 2013 and in many areas, the current provincial council does not reflect the contemporary political realities brought about by federal elections last year.

By rights, provincial elections to select local councillors should have been held in 2017. However the ongoing security crisis and the fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State meant this was impossible. The federal government then decided to combine provincial elections with federal ones, to be held in May 2018, but again failed to do this.

The next date for the provincial elections was supposed to be December 22, 2018, but yet again the federal government – this time the new one headed by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi – decided not to hold them. A new date was not set and election authorities say it will be too difficult to hold provincial elections in 2019.

The Independent High Electoral Commission, or IHEC, has not been working properly for the past few months because, ever since the May 2018 federal elections, there have been all sorts of other concerns, explains Hazem al-Rudaini, a member of IHEC.

“The debate about the integrity of the federal elections, the various appeals and the recounts overseen by a judicial authority,” al-Rudaini listed the reasons. “All of this has impacted on the Commission’s work and makes it impossible to hold the provincial elections anytime in the coming six months at least.”

Amendments to the laws and rules around provincial elections are being discussed by IHEC and relevant federal authorities and politicians, al-Rudaini said, but “all that will take time”.

In fact, senior members of IHEC have been summoned to parliament to discuss this issue because some of the provincial appointments are now unconstitutional – for example, a governor cannot be a sitting MP at the same time yet some are. Additionally, the provincial councils hardly reflect the outcome of the federal elections, which saw the al-Sadr-backed Sairoun alliance win the most votes. In fact, that is part of what has caused the recent problems: The winning political parties are forcing through new alliances at provincial level, that allow them to remove the sitting governors who belong to other now-less-popular parties.

“We refuse to allow the current provincial councils to carry on working,” Rami al-Sukaini, an MP for the Sairoun alliance, told NIQASH. “There are proposals now that allow them to keep working for the next six months, and others to remove them and give parliament the power of supervise provincial councils, until provincial elections can be held.”

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi and Jordan’s Prime Minister Dr. Omar Razzaz have agreed a series of measures to increase cooperation between the two countries.

Following a meeting at the weekend, they announced that, among other steps, they will finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will run from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019.

The full (unedited) list of measures outlined in their joint statement is shown below:

In the transport sector:

  • Opening the Jordanian-Iraqi border crossings (Al Karama-Trebil) in front of the (door to door) traffic to start the journey of goods that are perishable on 2-2-2019 and include all types of goods thereafter.
  • Granting facilities for imported Iraqi goods via Aqaba, whose final destination is Iraq, a discount of 75% of the fees charged by Aqaba Economic Authority.
  • Make an Agreement between the Royal Jordanian and Iraqi Aviation for mutual cooperation in various fields: (Code share).
  • Training and cooperation in all areas of aviation and air transport.

In the industry and trade sector:

  • Activating the Iraqi Cabinet decision for the year 2017 exempting a number of Jordanian goods from customs starting from 2-2-2019.
  • The two councils of the two countries decided to allocate the agreed land on the Iraqi-Jordanian border to reach a depth of 2 km on the two sides of the border and a length of 6 km for the Iraqi-Jordanian Company. By 2-2-2019, in preparation for the company’s presentation of the industrial zone to the private sector for operation and management on the basis of BOT.

In the financial sector:

  • Forming a technical and financial legal committee between the two sides to develop solutions to the outstanding financial files between the two countries.

In the energy sector:

  • The agreement was reached on the Jordanian-Iraqi electricity link through the network of interconnection, where the memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of the prime ministers, in which the parties agreed to take the necessary measures to accelerate the exchange of electrical energy between the two parties through direct electrical connection to the electricity networks of Iraq and Jordan.
  • It was agreed to finalize the framework agreement for the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline which will extend from Basra through Haditha to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019
  • It was agreed that the technical committees will arrive to determine the details of transportation and pricing for the export of Iraqi crude oil to Jordan before 2-2-2019.

In the agriculture sector:

  • Training in the fields of optimal use of water in the fields of aquaculture, water harvesting, seed propagation, biological control, the use of environmentally friendly pesticides and the training of Iraqi environmental police.

In the communications and IT sector:

  • It was agreed to pass the Iraqi Internet capacity from Jordan in 2019 to support Iraq build the infrastructure.
  • It was agreed on transport Jordan’s experiences in the field of the financial technology to brothers in Iraq.

(Source: Media Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)