Despite the combined pressures of a global pandemic, political deadlock, falling oil prices and continued violence against government forces and others, SKA has continued to deliver over 90% of Iraq’s imported fuel requirements.

SKA’s unique partnership with the Ministry of Oil’s Oil Pipeline Company (OPC) and the close cooperation of Ministry of Transport’s General Company for the Ports of Iraq (GCPI) have ensured that vital supplies of imported diesel and gasoline continue to flow.

SKA’s CEO, Mr Mike Douglas said:

This is what SKA does. We stand firm in the face of adversity and get the job done. These combined challenges just make us more determined to succeed. Fuel supplies are vital to industry, transport and power generation and we will keep them flowing.

“Of note, the vital dredging we just completed during the curfew, guarantees that the biggest cargos on LR2 vessels, are not stalled; before we started, that size of ship had never been seen in the river. The company was built on the motto of “doing difficult jobs in difficult places” and now, more than ever, that is true.”

“We thank all our local and expatriate staff, and the Iraq Government, for their steadfast support and cooperation. We realize that it is not easy to be away from homes and families in these challenging times, but together we will continue to ensure that the Iraqi people get what they need to overcome these daily challenges. We hope and pray that SKA as a company and Iraq as a nation will emerge stronger at the end of all this”.

SKA operates the only private Maritime Oil Storage and Distribution Terminal in Iraq. Combined with the joint operation of the oil import jetties in Khor Al Zubair Port, SKA is responsible to the importation of over 90% of Iraq’s oil product import demand. SKA has ensured that this vital infrastructure is operated, maintained and enhanced during this difficult time.

SKA, in partnership with the Iraq Government, hopes to build on this success in the future with further enhancements to the import and export infrastructure. Mike Douglas said:

“We will overcome the current challenges and in the future build and operate more oil product storage in Khor Al Zubair. This will provide increased volumes for import and much needed cargo consolidation for export. It will also provide much needed employment for the local population. We have been in Iraq for 17 years and are here to stay.”

(Source: IBBC)

A 29 MW gas-fuelled power plant supplied by the technology group Wärtsilä to the Umm Qasr Ports Authority Zone in Basra, Iraq, commenced commercial operations in February. The plant ensures availability of a reliable supply of electricity to the port’s operations, which had previously been subject to frequent power interruptions.

The Wärtsilä plant was ordered in October 2018 by Lebanon-based Butec, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider for the project. Butec was contracted by Prime Metro Power Holdings (PMPH), the company having a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the General Company for the Ports of Iraq, an Iraqi Ministry of Transport entity.

Wärtsilä delivered the plant on a fast-track basis, and the project was completed in an exceptionally short period of time, despite delays caused by the ongoing political situation in the country.

Guillaume Lucci, President and COO of PMPH, said:

We have been able to leverage the local natural gas resources to develop a first class, state-of-the-art power plant facility that adds a vital power generation infrastructure and services to the state of Iraq. The completion of this project in less than one year is a significant milestone in our strategy to quickly develop the needed power infrastructure.

“We are pleased to have worked with Wärtsilä on this project, and we are certain that the quality and performance of the engine will be an asset over the lifecycle of the plant.

Alexandre Eykerman, Energy Business Director, Middle East, Wärtsilä Energy Business, said:

“The fast-starting, flexible operation of the Wärtsilä engines was a decisive consideration in the award of this contract. The plant can run fewer engines when less power is demanded and start the additional engines only when and as needed. This provides a cost-effective, efficient, and highly reliable solution that will greatly enhance the port’s operations.”

The Umm Qasr plant operates on three Wärtsilä 34SG gas engines, which deliver reliable baseload power on a 24/7 basis. Wärtsilä has also signed a maintenance agreement, the scope of which includes field service, and engine maintenance planning based on remote monitoring and asset diagnostics. For this, the plant is already connected to the Wärtsilä Digital Expertise Centre located in Dubai.

In addition to providing cost predictability, the agreement ensures the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the plant’s operations. Wärtsilä will have technical advisors stationed on site for mutually agreed periods of time to supervise the plant’s performance.

This is the first phase of an overall power supply project that will be expanded to increase the availability of electricity throughout the region. It represents Wärtsilä’s first gas-fired power plant in Iraq.

(Source: Wärtsilä)

Prime Power Middle East (PPME), a wholly owned subsidiary of Prime Metro Power Holdings Corporation, has commenced operation of its power plant in Umm Qasr, Basra.

The power plant started its commercial operation last Sunday, 09 February 2020, and is designed to deliver base load of 24/7 power to the Umm Qasr Ports Authority Zone.

The gas-fired power plant is equipped with three latest version Wartsila W20V34SG engines with fast start capability able to provide power to the GCPI grid within 30 seconds. It is fully automated with the latest control system allowing stable electricity generation to the Umm Qasr Port grid.

Prime Power started discussions with the Iraqi government in 2016 in light of the growing power shortages. In May 2018, Prime Power signed a 23-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Genral Company of Ports or Iraq (GCPI).

Benefiting from natural gas supply from a specially built 15km natural gas pipeline, the Umm Qasr Port Power Plant is the first phase of a multi-phase development program that starts with its current Phase 1 operational capacity of 29.3MW reaching total generation capacity 68.4MW in Phase 2, with room to increase capacity up to 150MW in the coming years.

The power plant operation will be integrated with a distribution system to support the port industrial zone and surrounding cities.

Enrique Razon Jr., Prime Power Chairman and CEO, said:

We are delighted to start our greenfield power plant in Umm Qasr Port. It is a testament to the potential of Iraq.

“Under a join operation framework with GCPI we were able to leverage the Basra Governorate’s natural gas resources to develop a first class state of the art facility that adds vital power generation infrastructure and services to state of Iraq.

“We see this plant as the first phase of many as we continue to be long term investors in Iraq and to contribute to its economic and social development.

In spite of some of geopolitical and social challenges Iraq is going through, the plant was built within record time and ahead of schedule.

Guillaume Lucci, Prime Power President and COO, said:

We are pleased to have delivered such critical infrastructure and services to GCPI and the Port of Umm Qasr.

“The completion of Phase 1, in less than one year, is a significant milestone in Prime Power’s strategy to build up an infrastructure portfolio that delivers fast and critical investments to regions in need.

“We will continue to rest on our strong presence on the ground as we work hand in hand with the government and the communities we serve.

Moving forward, PPME will continue to improve the electricity situation at the port, and is looking forward to launching the Phase 2 in the last quarter of 2020.

Prime Metro Power will continue to aim for an even greater contribution to the Iraq power market, and continue the boundless use of economical and sustainable power generation facilities.

(Source: ICTSI)

On 20th October, a handover ceremony was held at Albwardy Damen, in Sharjah, UAE, marking Damen’s delivery of thirteen tugs to Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping.

The tugs will be operated at various offshore terminals in Iraq, in a joint cooperation between Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping and General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI). The contract for the order was signed end of March 2019. Damen has delivered all the vessels within a seven month period.

The thirteen-vessel order consisted of four ASD Tugs 2813, two ASD Tugs 3212, three RSD Tugs 2513 – all state-of-the-art vessels from Damen’s Next Generation Tugs series – three Stan Tugs 2208 and a Shoalbuster 2609. The ASD tugs are fully equipped, including FiFi 1 and an escort towing notation.  Furthermore, the contract includes spare part packages, training, a computerised planned maintenance system and a remote monitoring system on board of all tugs.

The vessel order will serve to fulfil a 20 year contract between Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping and GCPI. The contract gives Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping responsibility for marine service at the oil terminals.

With this agreement, the two parties will secure Iraq’s ability to handle the constant flow of tankers entering and leaving the country.

Jawar Al Khaleej has been successfully providing marine services in Iraq for the last ten years, and has a modern fleet of a Damen Stan Tugs, three Damen ASD Tugs 3213 and a Fast Crew Supplier 5009.

Jawar Al Khaleej chairman Eng. Baydaq Al Jazaeri, speaking during his speech at the handover ceremony, said:

This Mission was not an easy one, it was a great challenge. However, we had a big confidence in our partner in business, Damen, who met and exceeded our expectations in making it happen despite all challenges.

“I would like to thank all the Damen team and a special thanks to Mr Bram Langeveld area director Middle East and Mr Pascal Slingerland Damen sales director Middle East for their continuous support and follow-up. Jawar is grateful to GCPI for their confidence in us for such a big contract, which is related to the economy of a big country such as Iraq.

Pascal Slingerland, Damen sales director Middle East, added:

It has been an honour to extend our long lasting relationship with Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping and to support Jawar in this prestigious contract with GCPI. On behalf of Damen I congratulate both parties on their cooperation and on the delivery of their new tugs.

“This delivery includes some of the most state-of-the-art tug technology on the market, including cutting edge innovations in safety, design and remote monitoring. We have every confidence that these thoroughly fit for purpose tugs will meet the offshore terminal requirements and enables save and reliable operation.

(Source: Damen)

By John Lee.

South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction has reportedly won an $86 million order to build a prefabrication yard for a tunnel project at the new Al Faw Grand Port in Basra.

Under the deal with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), Daewoo will complete the Khor Al-Zubair immersed tunnel prefabrication yard by October 2021.

According to Yonhap, the deal is the fourth construction project that the company has won in Iraq this year, bringing the total of contracts secured since March to $460 million.

(Source: Yonhap)

(Picture: Kim Hyung, President and CEO, Daewoo Engineering and Construction)

By John Lee.

South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction has won a US$70.35 million order to build entrance roads for the new Al Faw Grand Port in Basra.

Under the deal with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), Daewoo will complete the 14.5 kilometer-long road by May 2021.

Earlier this year, the company won a contract valued at $199.75 to build Al Faw Container Terminal (Phase 1).

(Sources: General Company for Ports of Iraq, Yonhap)

By John Lee.

The Iraq Container Terminal (ICT) at Umm Qasr Port has reportedly handled container traffic of two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) since operations started less than nine years ago.

According to Hellenic Shipping News, the joint venture between UAE-based Gulftainer and the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) started operations at Berth 8 in the South Port in August 2010, followed by Berth 11 in the North Port in 2012.

It adds that the ICT is equipped with two Mitsubishi ship-to-shore gantry cranes, supported by two Gottwald mobile harbour cranes with a 100 t lifting capacity, in addition to container-handling equipment including 18 reach stackers, two empty handlers and 28 terminal tractors; it currently employs 250 locals and 50 expatriates.

(Source: Hellenic Shipping News)

By John Lee.

A report from UK-based newspaper The Guardian says that British Government-backed projects to tackle the aftermath of the war in Iraq have been hindered by the UK’s continuing “hostile” immigration policy.

It cites the example of a civil service training scheme involving a £330,000 contract between the General Company for the Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Middle East Graduate (MEG), a Sheffield-based student recruitment agency; the scheme now faces being axed after immigration officials rejected dozens of student visa applications.

Another project, funded by the UK government to research gender-based displacement and violence in Iraqi Kurdistan, was hampered when six members of the project’s Iraq-based team were denied visas.

More here.

(Source: The Guardian)

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation has been awarded a contract for port construction in the Republic of Iraq.

Extended by the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), the contract covers a port rehabilitation project in the country’s southern region of Basra, and is valued at approximately 110 million US dollars. The project is being funded through ODA loans provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The project will be executed through a partnership between MC and multiple international contractors, including Turkey-based energy infrastructure provider Calik Enerji (CE), in which MC holds shares, and construction firm Gap Insaat, also Turkey-based.

Both part of the Calik Holding group, these two sister companies will play a major role in executing construction while MC will be responsible for overall project coordination and serve as the prime contractor, facilitating the import of steel structures and other necessary supplies from Japan.

The objective of this project is to modernize existing industrial port facilities around Basra by (i) expanding the oil products berth at Khor Al-Zubair Port, and (ii) building a new service berth for working ships and service boats at Umm Qasr Port.

The rehabilitation of ports throughout Iraq is essential to meeting increasing demands for port infrastructure, which is growing rapidly as the volumes of trade flowing in and out of the country grows. Rehabilitating this critical infrastructure will also contribute to further stabilizing the country’s economy as post-war reconstruction advances.

This project is particularly noteworthy given that Khor Al-Zubair and Umm Qasr are the only ports currently in operation in the Basra region, where a system of ports located in the 48 kilometer wide tip of the country wedged in between Iran and Kuwait along the Persian Gulf gives Iraq its only outlet to the sea.

In addition to this project, MC intends to continue leveraging provisions under the Japanese Government policy framework for promoting export of “high-quality infrastructure” to identify opportunities that support Iraq’s efforts towards reconstruction, economic development, and increased quality of life.

(Source: Mitsubishi Corporation)

(Picture: Takehiko Kakiuchi, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Corporation)

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC) has successfully secured a contract with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) of Japan to build two vessels; Pilot Station Vessel and Buoy Tender Vessel, for General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI).

TTC and GCPI signed the Prime Contract on 27th April 2018 in Dubai. Subsequent to the signing of the Prime Contract, TTC signed the Sub Contract Agreement with CDPLC as TTC’s preferred Shipyard for the construction of these vessels on 2nd May 2018 in Japan.

TTC is a trading and investing company which is also a group company of TOYOTA. By recognizing the potential of CDPLC, TTC decided to collaborate with CDPLC for this project to compete and submit bid proposals in response to a tender floated by GCPI in July 2017.

After the selection of the Bid proposal submitted by TTC in collaboration with CDPLC, there were contract negotiation meetings in Basrah, Iraq and in Colombo, Sri Lanka. These negotiations and discussions were able to strengthen the relationship between the parties to enter in to a successful contract.

Both the Pilot Station Vessel and the Buoy Tender Vessel will be constructed using modern technology and will be in accordance with latest rules and regulations of the maritime industry. Both vessels will be classed to Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK).

The Pilot Station Vessel is a catamaran type vessel which will be used to transport of pilots and provisions, to provide pilots with accommodation services and to provide station and necessary support for pilot boats.

This is a 50m length vessel with a breadth of 18m and a depth of 6.1m. The vessel is driven by two powerful diesel engine and shall develop a speed of 14 knots. The vessel shall be fully air-conditioned and shall provide accommodation for 47 persons.

The Buoy Tender Vessel is designed to be used to retrieve and launch marine navigation buoys, to provide repair and maintenance to marine navigation buoy, to transport marine navigation buoys and/or spare parts and to transport general cargo.

This is a 60m length vessel with a breadth of 12m breadth and a depth of 4.6m. The vessel is driven by twin diesel engines and is capable of achieving a speed of 12 knots. The vessel also shall be equipped with a Crane with a lifting capacity of 22 tons. This vessel too provides fully air conditioned living quarters for its complement of 29 persons.

The two vessels are to be delivered in Iraq in April 2020.

(Source: Colombo Dockyard)