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.

Business leaders in Jordan have reportedly welcomed increased access to Iraq’s $88.2-billion reconstruction efforts.

According to a report from Jordan Tmes, a recent agreement to grant Jordanian construction contractors equal status to their Iraqi peers was described as “a God-sent miracle” by engineer and board member of the Jordan Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) Abdel Haleem Bustanji.

It has only been two days since we signed the agreement, but I already received calls about the necessary papers. Contractors are thrilled to be working again,” he added.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi received King Abdullah II of Jordan in Baghdad on Monday, to discuss improving relations between the two countries.

More here.

(Sources: Jordan Tmes, Media office of the Prime Minister)

By John Lee.

France has reportedly agreed to lend Iraq 1 billion euros to help in the reconstruction efforts.

According to Reuters, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the agreement to reporters following a meeting on Monday with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim in Baghdad.

The cost of reconstruction in Iraq is estimated at $88 billion, of which around $30 billion was pledged at a donor conference early last year.

(Sources: Reuters, AP)

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.

Housing prices in Iraqi Kurdistan have reportedly increased by 20 percent in 2018, while rents has gone up by 15 percent.

Citing research from real estate company Baghi Khoshnawati, Rudaw says that demand for rental accommodation in the second half of 2018 has increased by 45 percent compared to the first half of 2018.

It adds that the rent for a house in the Italian Village in Erbil has increased from was $500 per month in May 2018 to $650 now, but “there are no houses available because of high demand“.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

(Picture credit: Jan Kurdistani21)

Cultural Property Consultants (CPC) and the University of Pennsylvania Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) have been awarded a $2 million grant to launch the Mosul Heritage Stabilization Program (MHSP).

MHSP seeks to assist Iraqis in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage by contributing to the maintenance and promotion of cultural memory, identity, diversity, and freedom of expression in an effort to mitigate the effects of genocide, cultural cleansing, and prolonged conflict in northern Iraq.

Funding for the 40-month project comes from a Department of State Cooperative Agreement, S-NEAAC-18-CA-0043, under the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and is a part of a larger $300 million USAID and Department of State initiative to support Iraqi communities after the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Richard L. Zettler is Project Director and an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also associate curator-in-charge of Penn Museum’s Near East Section. Michael Danti serves as Project Manager and Allison Cuneo is Project Coordinator. Ali Jubbouri, former dean of the University of Mosul’s College of Archaeology, is the Iraq Team Coordinator. MHSP partners include Mosul University College of Engineering, Consultancy for Conservation and Development, and EAMENA.

(Sources: Cultural Property Consultants, University of Pennsylvania)

By John Lee.

China’s Sinoma International Engineering has signed a $246-million contract to build a 6000-tonne/day clinker production line in Iraq.

The plant will be built for Iraqi Cement in the Samawah of Muthanna.

It will handle the entire production process, from raw material crushing to finished cement packaging.

Once the contract is finalised, the project is expected to  be completed within 37 months.

(Source: Shanghai Stock Exchange)

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

In northern Iraq, several projects are trying to help Yazidi women support themselves and their loved ones after ISIL drove them from their towns and villages into refugee camps.

But as the threat from ISIL has appeared to diminish, so, too, has the funding for the projects. Although the fight against ISIL may be mostly over, many Yazidis are still struggling to rebuild their lives.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from near the Khanke refugee camp in Dohuk, in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq:

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

Shaima was 17 years old and entering her junior year in school in Erbil. Her mother, who was worried about family “honor,” often challenged her daughter in heated discussions.

Eventually, Shaima’s family barred her from going to school. Around 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, the neighbors heard gunshots coming from Shaima’s house.

“This is not your business,” Shaima’s mother, who was outside the house, told concerned neighbors. The family claimed that Shaima had committed suicide, but it soon became evident that her younger brother had murdered her with an AK-47, allegedly over possession of a mobile phone.

When her body was examined, there were gunshots to her hands, head and chest, and it appeared to Erbil police spokesman Maj. Hoger Aziz that, out of her innocence, Shaima had covered her face with her hands thinking that she could protect herself against the bullets from the barrel of her brother’s weapon.

Click here to read the full story.

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

Sinjar road reconnects estranged Yazidis and Kurds with Baghdad

Nadia Murad (pictured), the Nobel prize laureate who has emerged as the universal face of Yazidi persecution by the Islamic State, returned to her ancestral homeland of Sinjar, Iraq, last week to celebrate a religious holiday — and how she got there was a big deal.

The globetrotting human rights activist used the Sihela road skirting the Syrian border. The strategic route had been sealed since October 2017.

That is when the Iraqi army backed by Shiite militias pushed out Kurdish peshmerga forces from the area, part of a broader campaign to roll back the Kurdish presence in contested territories in the wake of the Kurds’ controversial referendum on independence.

Click here to read the full story.