The Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The Cabinet discussed the needs of Iraq’s health sector, and agreed several measures to expand existing capacity and introduce new services. The measures included:

  • Adding additional ward capacity for the treatment of cancer patients at the National Amal Hospital and the National Cancer Centre
  • Establishing general nuclear medicine centres in Anbar, Basra, Babylon, Najaf and Nineveh provinces

The Cabinet discussed other policies and agreed to:

  • Make a one-off payment in the sum of 75,000 dinars to citizens who receive social security benefits on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha
  • Cancel the outstanding debt due from 17,552 families who receive social security support
  • Appoint graduates of medical colleges to positions in the health sector
  • Refer Al-Khairat Power Station Project to the consortium led by Hyundai. This important project will contribute to increased power generation and support the operation of the Karbala Refinery Project
  • Approve a recommendation from the Ministerial Council on Energy in relation to the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) project at Basra Refinery

The Cabinet reviewed and approved a number of other measures and policies.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

By John Lee.

GB Auto has reportedly decided to cease its representation of Hyundai passenger cars in Iraq.

According to Daily News Egypt, the company rejected Hyundai’s new multi-distributor strategy, on the basis that such models never yield proper returns on investment.

It adds that Hyundai had a market share of approximately 25 percent last year.

(Source: Daily News Egypt)

By John Lee.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction has reportedly won a $2.45-billion deal to build a seawater processing facility in Iraq.

South Korean media report that the company signed a letter of intent with Basra Oil Company (BOC) on Wednesday for the 49-month project, which will be capable of supplying 5 million barrels of fresh water per day.

This will help to increase output at Iraq’s oil fields.

(Sources: Yonhap, Korea Herald)

By John Lee.

A company has won a tender to supply two truck tractors with low-bed trailer to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Iraq.

The contract with US-based Al-Kasid Commercial Agencies Ltd is valued at $269,300.

According to the company’s website, Al-Kasid Commercial Agencies Ltd is the official distributor in Iraq for Hyundai Motor Company (commercial vehicles and buses) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (construction machines and forklifts).

It also has a joint venture with GB Auto for the distribution of Hyundai passenger cars in Iraq.

(Source: UNGM)

By John Lee.

Work on a the $6-billion Karbala Refinery Project has reportedly been suspended.

According to Korea Times, the work has been halted “due to the Iraqi government’s late construction payment, raising concerns about its solvency.

The Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contractor for the Karbala Refinery Project is HDGSK, a South Korean joint venture led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction. The joint venture consists of Hyundai E&C, Hyundai Engineering Co Ltd, GS Engineering & Construction, and SK Engineering & Construction.

(Source: Korea Times)

Ibrakom Logistics has received the first super heavy and out-of-gauge modules from Korea for the Karbala Refinery Project.

These modules have set new records for weights and dimensions of modules that have to date been shipped to Iraq.

The modules range from 220 metric tons to 474 metric tons in weight and have dimensions of 63 meters in length and 8 meters in diameter. Having been shipped to the Port of Umm Qasr, they were safely discharged by Ibrakom’s Iraqi team.

These modules consists of a DHT Reactor, Deisohexanizer Naphta Splitter, however other modules are en-route and will be transported overland to Karbala Refinery by Ibrakom along a 540 km specially constructed route. This route was designed and constructed by Ibrakom’s in house engineering team and includes several bridges and by-passes.

These first group of super heavy and OOG loads received for the Karbala Refinery project is just a warm up for us” said Tugrul Titanoglu, the Director of Projects at Ibrakom Group.

We will soon receive six units of LPG Bullets weighing 710 metric tons that are 65 m in length and 12.60 m in diameter. This is almost equivalent of transporting three adjacent apartment blocks along a distance of 540 km, record breaking not in Iraq alone, but in the entire Middle East. We have constructed our own roads for these giant modules as it is not possible to transport them on regular motorways. We are proud to design and implement the whole operation with our group resources alone. Starting from our own terminals at Umm Qasr Port to the supply of specialized transport equipment, it is all group assets leveraged in the entire chain of logistics”.

Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) and their EPC contractor HDGSK, a joint venture composed of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., GS Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., and Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd., had awarded Ibrakom Logistics in 2015 for the heavy transport services including 126 super heavy and over-sized modules of which the scope was increased to include 250 modules.

Karbala Refinery, a $6.04 billion project once completed, will be the biggest refinery in Iraq and is expected to supply the entire demand of the refined oil products in the country.

UAE based Ibrakom Group, a subsidiary of Imisk Holdings, is one of the region’s leading integrated logistics operators in the Middle East and Central Asia. Established 1995, Ibrakom today operates in 17 countries with 24 offices. Its core activities include port/terminal management and ownership, heavy transportation, Industrial and Project Logistics.

(Source: Ibrakom)

By John Lee.

An investigation by Fairfax Media — publisher of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers — and The Huffington Post, claims that Monaco-based Unaoil has been involved in widespread bribery and corruption in the oil industry, including in Iraq, Iran and Libya.

Following examination of tens of thousands of emails, the report says that Unaoil channelled huge bribes to government officials on behalf of its clients to help win billions of dollars worth of government contracts.

In Iraq, it accuses the company, and its country manager Basil Al Jarah, of arranging bribes for clients including Rolls-Royce, Petrofac, Clyde Pumps, Weatherford, Cameron/Natco, FMC Technologies, Saipem, SBM Offshore, MAN Turbo, Rosetti Marino, ABB, The Shaw Group, Core Labs, Leighton Offshore, Weir and Hyundai.

Public officials allegedly implicated include Dr Hussain al-Shahristani, former Minister for Oil and current Minister for Education, who has denied any wrongdoing; Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi], former Minister for Oil; Kifah Numan, Director General of the South Oil Company (SOC); Dhia Jaffar also a Director General of the SOC and since last year a Deputy Minister for Oil in the Iraqi government; and Oday al-Quraishi (SOC).

According to the report, “Unaoil made Dhia Jaffar and Oday al-Quraishi wealthy men.

Family owned and controlled, Unaoil was founded by the Iranian-born Ata Ahsani, who left Tehran at the time of the Islamic revolution. The company says it “strenuously [denies] any wrongdoing and consider[s] the allegations to be baseless and entirely false.

The original story can be read in more detail here.

(Source: The Age)

(Corruption image via Shutterstock)

Veolia Water Technologies has been selected by HDGSK Joint Venture to supply a Zero Liquid Discharge Evaporator and Crystallizer for the Karbala Refinery Project in Iraq.

Veolia will engineer, procure and deliver a Zero Liquid Discharge system based on its proven HPD® Brine Evaporator and Brine Crystallizer technologies for calcium sulfate seeded slurry processes.

Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) and their EPC contractor HDGSK, a joint venture composed of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., GS Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., SK Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., and Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd., have selected Veolia´s HPD® evaporator technology for the Karbala Refinery project. Veolia´s proven track record and its project execution capabilities to deliver a modularized solution were instrumental in securing this important contract.

Veolia’s system will be divided into two steps: the first step is a Brine Concentrator based on calcium sulfate seeded slurry and driven through a single Mechanical Vapour Recompression (MVR), and the second step is a Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Brine Crystallizer driven through two stages of single MVR.

The combined system will eliminate all liquid waste discharge and will produce a waste solid product discharge from a centrifugal separation process. Waste solids from the plant will be routed to a landfill for disposal. The process distillate quality recovered from the process will be routed internally to the refinery for reuse.

Ignacio Martinez, Vice-President and General Manager of Veolia Water Technologies’ Evaporation & Crystallization activities, said:

“The Karbala refinery is due to become the most technically advanced refinery in Iraq. Veolia is proud to contribute its strong expertise in zero liquid discharge and waste reduction processes, helping Iraq’s SCOP and the HDGSK joint venture meet their economic and environmental goals.”

The plant will have a capacity of 55 m3/hr and is scheduled for delivery in August 2016. The Karbala Refinery ZLD facility will rely on the high mechanical availability of Veolia´s system to maintain the refinery´s water treatment operations.

About HDGSK JV

The Engineer, Procure and Construct contractor for the Karbala Refinery Project is HDGSK, a South Korean joint venture led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction that won a $6.04 billion project to build oil refining facilities in Karbala, Iraq.  The joint venture consists of Hyundai E&C, Hyundai Engineering Co Ltd, GS Engineering & Construction, and SK Engineering & Construction.

Hyundai E&C and affiliate Hyundai Engineering have a combined 37.5 percent stake in the project, worth $2.265 billion. GS also has a 37.5 percent stake, while SK has a 25 percent stake worth $1.51 billion.  SK Engineering & Construction is responsible for the water utilities at the refinery and was responsible for selected Veolia´s Zero Liquid Discharge technology for the project.

(Source: Veolia)

U.S. counter-terror officials have asked Toyota to help them determine how the Islamic State group (ISIS, ISIL, IS) has managed to acquire the large number of Toyota pick-up trucks and SUVs seen prominently in the terror group’s propaganda videos.

According to a report from ABC News, Toyota says it does not know how ISIS obtained the vehicles and is “supporting” the inquiry led by the Terror Financing unit of the Treasury Department.

We briefed Treasury on Toyota’s supply chains in the Middle East and the procedures that Toyota has in place to protect supply chain integrity,” said Ed Lewis, Toyota’s Washington-based director of public policy and communications.

Toyota has a “strict policy to not sell vehicles to potential purchasers who may use or modify them for paramilitary or terrorist activities,” Lewis said. He said it is impossible for the company to track vehicles that have been stolen, or have been bought and re-sold by middlemen.

This is a question we’ve been asking our neighbors,” Faily said. “How could these brand new trucks… these four wheel drives, hundreds of them — where are they coming from?

There were small numbers of other brands including Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Isuzu shown in IS videos.

(Source: ABC News)

By John Lee.

UK-based Copperchase has won a $6 million (7.2 billion Iraqi dinar) contract with Hyundai Engineering & Construction to build a new security fence at Karbala oil refinery.

The company used a £200,000 loan from the Tees Valley Catalyst Fund loan, which is managed by FW Capital, to secure the performance bond it needed from Lloyds Banking Group.

Copperchase director Paul Boydell said the contract win is the company’s largest to date.

(Sources: Insider Media, Copperchase)