Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) conducted a ceremony with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to transfer the Coalition area of Besmayah Base, Iraq, July 25, 2020.

Due to Iraqi Security Forces’ success in the campaign against Daesh, the Coalition is adjusting its positioning and focus in Iraq. These military movements are long-planned in coordination with the Government of Iraq.

“Today marks the seventh base this year transferred to the ISF, as part of an ongoing partnership between the Iraqi security forces and the anti-ISIS international military Coalition,” said Maj. Gen. Gerald Strickland, CJTF-OIR deputy commander for strategy. “Iraqi forces trained here were critical in the liberation of Mosul three years ago. Besmayah serves as a shining example of Iraqi military capability. The Coalition has supported the development of this facility, enabling the Iraqi military to deliver forces ready to root out the remnants of Daesh.”

Coalition activities at Besmayah were primarily led by Spanish forces, who trained nearly 50,000 Iraqi military personnel at the site. In conjunction with their Portuguese partners, Spain’s military forces trained the ISF in a broad range of military tactics and programs. Courses quickly evolved to a “train-the-trainer” approach, with Iraqis assuming daily leadership and delivery of the programs.

The Spanish contingent transferred and divested $4 million in classrooms, barracks, weapons ranges, mock urban training sites, and other facilities to the Government of Iraq. The United States contributed $1 million in power generation and base force protection materials and equipment.

“The train-the-trainer courses were highly successful in building a sustainable future for Iraqi-led training programs,” said Spanish Col. Leopoldo Ramirez, the CJTF-OIR senior national representative for Spain. “More than 5,000 Spanish soldiers served 12 rotations at this base, they can be very proud that their Iraqi partners have assumed full control and are capable of operating independently for a secure and stable future of Iraq.”

CJTF-OIR will continue to relocate and consolidate personnel and equipment from Iraqi bases throughout 2020, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq. The ISF increasingly conducts independent operations in the fight against Daesh and the defense of their homeland including the 2020 series of operations “Heroes of Iraq,” in which they have cleared thousands of kilometers to capture enemy fighters and equipment.

Coalition troops will depart Besmayah in the coming days. As a member of the 77-nation international Coalition, Spain firmly believes that unified, well trained Iraqi armed forces are essential to defeating Daesh, and remains committed to a long-term engagement with the Iraqi people in support of this objective.  Spain therefore remains a strong member of the Coalition, providing advisors to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command and valuable helicopter support to the Coalition.

(Source: Operation Inherent Resolve)

By John Lee.

GE Gas Power has reported that it has successfully completed services on four 9F.03 gas turbines, two steam turbines and six generators at Iraq’s Besmaya Power Plant safely and on time, while continuing to execute wider operations and maintenance (O&M) works at the site despite the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These service activities reduced the risk of unplanned downtime of power generation equipment at the site, enabling the plant to reliably supply up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of electricity to the national grid to help meet the peak summer demand for power.

Owned by Mass Group Holding (MGH), Besmaya is Iraq’s largest power plant. Phases 1 and 2 of the project can generate up to 3 GW and Phase 3, which is currently under construction, is expected to add up to another 1.5 GW. The facility is the first one in the country outside the Kurdistan region to be developed by an independent power producer on a build-own-operate basis for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.

GE has supplied eight gas turbines, four steam turbines and 12 generators that are covered by a 20-year service agreement and is also responsible for O&M services for Phases 1 and 2 of the project to ensure smooth operations at the site. Additionally, GE won a contract to supply four 9F.04 gas turbines and four generators for Phase 3. Much of the electricity generated at Besmaya is fed to the capital Baghdad and surrounding areas and its uninterrupted operations are critical to power local healthcare facilities, homes, businesses and more.

Ahmad Ismail, Chairman of MGH, said:

At MGH, we are committed to strengthening Iraq’s power sector further.

“The logistical and mobility constraints resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak led to several unexpected difficulties in carrying out the required service works at Besmaya including delays in the arrivals of parts and challenges in access to technical experts.

“However, the determination, flexibility and efficiency GE displayed by being able to draw on local teams on the ground, remote support from experts and access to a global supply chain, enabled us to keep the plant operational with high levels of reliability and efficiency and to deliver on our commitments.

Beginning February 2020, over 110 GE and FieldCore (a GE-owned field services execution company) staff members liaised closely with MGH to execute the services safely and as per schedule. The works conducted included the first phase of Hot Gas Path inspection services of the gas turbines, steam turbine minor inspections and generator MAGIC (Miniature Air Gap Inspection Crawler) inspections.

Experts based in the Middle East and Europe liaised with the local site team through digital tools, video conferences and phone calls on a daily basis to remotely support mechanical and commissioning works, identify and transport stocks of parts that needed to be replaced and keep track of overall project progress. To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, additional hygiene, health and safety measures were implemented at the site, including more frequent disinfection and cleaning activities, thermal screenings of everyone entering the site, distribution of additional mandatory personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, COVID-19 prevention training sessions, accommodation for staff on-site, as well as other precautions.

Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE Gas Power, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia said:

As we work through these exceptional times, our resolve to support the Ministry of Electricity and people of Iraq by providing the electricity needed to power everyday life, growth and progress remains unchanged. Our top priority remains the safety of our people, while continuing to deliver results for our customers and the communities we serve.

“I would like to thank the supportive staff at GE and MGH who stayed away from their loved ones for months, working long hours to secure reliable power supplies during this unprecedented period and for the hot summer months ahead. Together, we are honored to make a positive difference to the lives of millions of Iraqi citizens.

GE and FieldCore have up to 300 people across Iraq. The company has supported the development of the country’s energy infrastructure for over 50 years and since 2011, helped to bring up to 15 GW of power online across Iraq, including up to 1.4 GW in conflict affected areas such as Diyala and Mosul.

The company has also helped bring over US$2.4 billion in financing for energy sector projects in Iraq in collaboration with export credit agencies, commercial banks and other organizations.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced the following investment opportunities:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced an investment opportunity for the construction of a commercial site in Bismayah City:

According to investment law no. 13 for the year 2006 as amended and its regulations, NIC is pleased to announce the investment opportunity of Constructing a commercial Site in Bismayah City – Zone A with total area of 10 dunams

Local and foreign companies willing to invest in this opportunity are invited to apply through filling in the Investment application form available on the NIC website: www.investpromo.gov.iq and provide all the documents mentioned in the application within (30) days from the date of publishing this announcement knowing that winning investor shall undertake the fees of local official newspapers announcements.

Required documents

  • application form (stamped and approved by the Administration dept. of the National Investment commission) with a buying receipt of the application form
  • Executive briefing
  • Economic feasibility study
  • Financing plan guarntied by a credited financial institution
  • Implementation Timetable
  • Company establishment papers and its final records with a briefing of its work history (legal person)
  • Copies of ID and passport of the investors (natural person)
  • Copies of ID and passport of the company representative
  • A list of the similar works previously implemented by the company or the investor (4 maximum)

For any further information please visit the NIC premises- Ones Stop Shop dept. located at Baghdad – (IZ next to Avicenna Hospital) or send email to: oss@investpromo.gov.iq or contact number 07706771719

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

Under the guidance of the Iraqi Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, the patronage of the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, H.E. Dr. Luay al-Khatteeb and in continuation of their dedicated efforts to strengthen Iraq’s power sector, Mass Energy Group Holding (MGH) and GE Power signed a new agreement that will help establish Phase 3 of the Besmaya [Bismaya] Power Plant, taking the total capacity of the facility up to 4.5 gigawatts (GW).

Under the scope of the agreement, GE will supply MGH with four 9F gas turbines and four generators to equip Besmaya Phase 3. The project has already been approved by Iraq’s Council of Ministers and MGH will supply electricity from the new extension of the plant to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The agreement was signed in the presence of H.E. Dr. Luay Al-Khatteeb and John Rice, Chairman of GE Gas Power by Ahmad Ismail, Chairman of MGH and Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems and Power Services businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

H.E. Dr. Luay Al-Khatteeb said:

As the first independent power project in Central Iraq, Besmaya set benchmarks in public-private sector partnerships and contributions to Iraq’s electricity network.

“It has not only shown that Iraq can be an attractive destination for private sector investments in the energy sector but more importantly, it has played a critical role in helping the government to increase supplies of reliable, efficient, and affordable power to meet the needs of our citizens. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with MGH and GE through the further expansion of Besmaya Power Plant.”

Besmaya Phase 3 is the largest new power plant by output to be added to Iraq’s national grid since 2014. The project is anticipated to bring another 1.5 GW of power online by 2021, with the first 500 megawatts (MW) scheduled to be added to the grid as early as next year. Up to 1,200 people are expected to be employed in the construction of Besmaya Phase 3.

Ahmad Ismail said:

At Mass Energy Group Holding, our mission is to make investments in the interests of the public by being an active contributor to the construction and development of Iraq’s power sector. In GE, we have found a reliable partner that is not only committed to the same values but also able to provide industry-leading technology, as well as world-class execution and service expertise on the ground in Iraq.

“We are excited to start working on the next phase of Besmaya today and remain committed to partnering with the government and people of Iraq to keep addressing the country’s power generation needs in the future as well.

The agreement builds on a proven track record of successful power generation projects executed in collaboration between MGH and GE in Iraq. Besmaya is already the largest power plant in Iraq in terms of output and among the largest across the Middle East and North Africa.

Phase 1 of Besmaya Power Plant is capable of generating up to 1.5 GW of power, while Phase 2 can already produce up to 1 GW and is expected to add up to another 500 MW as it starts combined cycle operations during the end of 2019 / early 2020. GE has provided eight 9F gas turbines and 4 steam turbines for the first two phases of Besmaya. Moreover, MGH and GE have earlier brought up to 4 GW of power online in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through the Erbil, Duhuk, and Sulaymania projects.

Joseph Anis said:

On behalf of GE, I would like to thank MGH and the Ministry of Electricity for their continued trust in us. GE has been honored to collaborate with various organizations to support the development of Iraq’s electricity sector for over 50 years.

“From being among the first to help rebuild power infrastructure in conflict-affected areas such as Diyala and Mosul, to providing equipment and services for Iraq’s first independent power plant, we have not just promised but continuously delivered on our commitment to help power progress for the people of Iraq.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

Under the guidance of the Iraqi Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi, the patronage of the Iraqi Minister of Electricity, H.E. Dr. Luay al-Khatteeb and in continuation of their dedicated efforts to strengthen Iraq’s power sector, Mass Energy Group Holding (MGH) and GE Power signed a new agreement that will help establish Phase 3 of the Besmaya [Bismaya] Power Plant, taking the total capacity of the facility up to 4.5 gigawatts (GW).

Under the scope of the agreement, GE will supply MGH with four 9F gas turbines and four generators to equip Besmaya Phase 3. The project has already been approved by Iraq’s Council of Ministers and MGH will supply electricity from the new extension of the plant to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The agreement was signed in the presence of H.E. Dr. Luay Al-Khatteeb and John Rice, Chairman of GE Gas Power by Ahmad Ismail, Chairman of MGH and Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems and Power Services businesses in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

H.E. Dr. Luay Al-Khatteeb said:

As the first independent power project in Central Iraq, Besmaya set benchmarks in public-private sector partnerships and contributions to Iraq’s electricity network.

“It has not only shown that Iraq can be an attractive destination for private sector investments in the energy sector but more importantly, it has played a critical role in helping the government to increase supplies of reliable, efficient, and affordable power to meet the needs of our citizens. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with MGH and GE through the further expansion of Besmaya Power Plant.”

Besmaya Phase 3 is the largest new power plant by output to be added to Iraq’s national grid since 2014. The project is anticipated to bring another 1.5 GW of power online by 2021, with the first 500 megawatts (MW) scheduled to be added to the grid as early as next year. Up to 1,200 people are expected to be employed in the construction of Besmaya Phase 3.

Ahmad Ismail said:

At Mass Energy Group Holding, our mission is to make investments in the interests of the public by being an active contributor to the construction and development of Iraq’s power sector. In GE, we have found a reliable partner that is not only committed to the same values but also able to provide industry-leading technology, as well as world-class execution and service expertise on the ground in Iraq.

“We are excited to start working on the next phase of Besmaya today and remain committed to partnering with the government and people of Iraq to keep addressing the country’s power generation needs in the future as well.

The agreement builds on a proven track record of successful power generation projects executed in collaboration between MGH and GE in Iraq. Besmaya is already the largest power plant in Iraq in terms of output and among the largest across the Middle East and North Africa.

Phase 1 of Besmaya Power Plant is capable of generating up to 1.5 GW of power, while Phase 2 can already produce up to 1 GW and is expected to add up to another 500 MW as it starts combined cycle operations during the end of 2019 / early 2020. GE has provided eight 9F gas turbines and 4 steam turbines for the first two phases of Besmaya. Moreover, MGH and GE have earlier brought up to 4 GW of power online in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through the Erbil, Duhuk, and Sulaymania projects.

Joseph Anis said:

On behalf of GE, I would like to thank MGH and the Ministry of Electricity for their continued trust in us. GE has been honored to collaborate with various organizations to support the development of Iraq’s electricity sector for over 50 years.

“From being among the first to help rebuild power infrastructure in conflict-affected areas such as Diyala and Mosul, to providing equipment and services for Iraq’s first independent power plant, we have not just promised but continuously delivered on our commitment to help power progress for the people of Iraq.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved a loan agreement between the Federal Ministry of Finance, Standard Chartered Bank and the German Deutsche Bank for the purpose of financing the construction of 13 secondary substations (132) kV, and the supply of 35 high voltage transformers with the German company, Siemens, for the Ministry of Electricity.

The Cabinet also approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council on Energy to expand Bismayah power plant.

(Source: Government of Iraq)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced a new investment opportunity in Iraq:

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

South Korea’s Hanwha Engineering and Construction (E&C) has said it haws received an additional payment of $230 million from the Iraqi government for work carried out in the first half of this year on the Bismayah New City project in Baghdad.

According to the report from Business Korea, the total contract is valued at $10.1 billion, of which Hanwha has so far received a total of $3.47 billion.

The project will see around 100,000 homes built near the capital.

(Source: Business Korea)

NATO Secretary General visits Iraq, praises Allied trainers and Iraqi forces

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg began an official visit to Iraq on Monday (5 March 2018), paying a visit to NATO’s training facilities in Besmaya.

For over a year, NATO has conducted training and capacity building activities for hundreds of Iraqi security forces, helping them to develop their own capabilities in the fight against terrorism.

In Besmaya, the Secretary General met with Spanish, Canadian and Slovakian trainers, as well as Iraqi forces who have benefited from NATO’s training activities.

Accompanied by the Base Commander, Spanish Brigadier General Luis Cepeda Lucas, Mr. Stoltenberg observed training in counter-improvised explosive devices, explosive ordnance disposal and de-mining. He praised the professionalism of the troops, noting that this training helps to save lives.

In Baghdad, the Secretary General met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the security situation and strengthening cooperation between NATO and Iraq. He paid tribute to the bravery of the Iraqi forces, saying: “Supported by the Global Coalition, they have broken the grip of Daesh terrorists on this country.” He stressed that it is important to secure these gains.

At the request of the Iraqi government, NATO is planning to scale up its support with a new training mission in Iraq. “We will continue to train the trainers, and help the Iraqi Government to establish specialist military academies and schools,” he said.

During his visit, the Secretary General also met with Commanding General, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, and senior Global Coalition commanders, as well as representatives from the United Nations, European Union, and Allied nations.

(Source: NATO)