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

Iraqi protesters clash with security forces in Iraq’s city of Karbala

Iraqi protesters clash with security forces in Iraq’s central city of Karbala as anti-government protests continue across the country.

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

October brought bad news to Iran, as popular demonstrations in Baghdad and Beirut continued, signaling a potential threat to its dominance over the Shiite Crescent.

Anti-Iran sentiments have been a staple of Iraq’s protests since Oct. 25. Tens of thousands of Iraqi protesters view Iran as the main source of the country’s instability.

Protesters wielding Molotov cocktails attacked the Iranian Consulate in Karbala, home to several Shiite shrines, on the evening of Nov. 3.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By Amnesty International. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Horrific scenes as security forces resort to lethal force to disperse Karbala protests

Iraqi security forces resorted yet again to excessive and unlawful lethal force to disperse crowds of largely peaceful protesters in the southern city of Karbala last night, said Amnesty International, after at least 14 protesters were reported killed and more than 100 injured.

Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses and verified geo-located video footage indicates that Iraqi security forces and anti-riot police opened fire using live ammunition as well as tear gas, chasing peaceful protesters staging a sit-in at the Tarbiya roundabout on 28 October. Witnesses also said security forces attempted to run them over with vehicles.

More here.

(Source: Amnesty International)

More than three million Iranians have registered to visit the holy cities of Iraq during the Arbaeen season, which marks the 40th day after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite Imam, a senior official said on Saturday.

Amir Moradi, the executive manager of a task force charged with handling the Arbaeen pilgrimage, said by 8:30 on Saturday morning, the number of people who have registered at the Samah website, has surpassed three million.

The Samah website has been launched by Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization to facilitate sending pilgrims to Iraq’s holy sites during the Arbaeen season.

Moradi pointed to the Iranian provinces that account for the largest number of people registered to go on the pilgrimage to Iraq, and said Tehran, with 500,118 names registered, is on the top of the list.

This year, the four borders of Khosravi, Mehran, Chazzabeh, and Shalamcheh are open to the Arbaeen pilgrims.

Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam.

Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.

In August, Iran and Iraq signed an agreement in Tehran to reopen the Khosravi border crossing and remove visa restrictions for Iranian Arbaeen pilgrims.

Iran and Iraq also agreed to raise the level of services and facilities for the pilgrims and enhance border security during the Arbaeen season, which will culminate in a large gathering in Karbala on October 19.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

During their recent visit to China, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, accompanied by the Ministers of Transport and Electricity visited the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which specializes in transport, energy, communications and heavy engineering equipment.

The company is already involved in the reconstruction of Salah al-Din power station and is in negotiations regarding power stations in Al-Khairat and Karbala.

Iraq’s Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb said he hoped to establish a strategic economic partnerships with China, with a focus on the energy sector.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Finance)

By John Lee.

During their recent visit to China, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, accompanied by the Ministers of Transport and Electricity visited the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which specializes in transport, energy, communications and heavy engineering equipment.

The company is already involved in the reconstruction of Salah al-Din power station and is in negotiations regarding power stations in Al-Khairat and Karbala.

Iraq’s Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb said he hoped to establish a strategic economic partnerships with China, with a focus on the energy sector.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Finance)

By John Lee.

During their recent visit to China, the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, accompanied by the Ministers of Transport and Electricity visited the China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), which specializes in transport, energy, communications and heavy engineering equipment.

The company is already involved in the reconstruction of Salah al-Din power station and is in negotiations regarding power stations in Al-Khairat and Karbala.

Iraq’s Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb said he hoped to establish a strategic economic partnerships with China, with a focus on the energy sector.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Finance)

By John Lee.

The Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Fuad Hussein, accompanied by the Ministers of Transport and Electricity, a number of Governors, Advisors to the Prime Minister and a number of general managers visited the China Railway Company earlier this week.

Among the projects discussed were the building of the Karbala-Najaf railway.

The Minister of Transport stressed the importance of the project and said that Iraq is ready to complete negotiations on the technical specifications.

(Source: Iraqi Ministry of Finance)

The Khosravi border crossing between Iran and Iraq reopened on Friday, more than six years after a terrorist attack led to its closure.

In a ceremony on Friday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Yassin Al Yasiri reopened the Khosravi border crossing.

The border crossing had been closed in 2013 in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack on Shiite pilgrims.

Khosravi border crossing allows the Iranian pilgrims to take the shortest route from the common border to Iraq’s city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (PBUH) is located.

The interior ministers of Iran and Iraq had signed an agreement to reopen the border crossing and remove visa restrictions for Iranian Arbaeen pilgrims in August.

Iran and Iraq have also agreed to raise the level of services and facilities for the pilgrims and enhance border security during the Arbaeen season, which will culminate in a large gathering in Karbala on October 19.

Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam.

Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to Karbala to perform mourning rites in commemoration of Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has published details of a new round of solar energy projects:

The Ministry of Electricity is please to invite local, regional and international Independent Power Producers (IPP) to submit Expressions of interest (EOI) to embark into a proposed reverse auctioning round for SEVEN (7) Green field solar PV IPP projects (each a “project”) with a potential combined capacity of 755MWp.

A project involves the design, finance, construction operation and maintenance of a utility scale solar power project to the Ministry on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis. A dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) shall be established to undertake the construction and operation of each project.

The Ministry, in its commercial capacity as a grid operator, will connect the SPV to the Iraqi transmission grid under a Transmission Connection Contract (TCC) and, in its capacity as owner of the land, will lease the land to the SPV under a Land Lease Contract (LLC). Also, the Ministry will purchase produced electricity from the SPV under the terms of the power purchase Contract (PPC).

The Ministry expects these project(s) to employ around 1300 people in the Republic of Iraq and supply more than 250,000 households with critically needed electricity supply.

The following projects are available :

  • Sawa-1 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 30 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Sawa-2 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Khidhir Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Iskanariya Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 225 MWp to be located in Babil Province,
  • Jissan Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Wassit Province,
  • Karbala Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 300 MWp to be located in Karbala Province,
  • Al-Diwania Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Diwania  Province,

The above project(s) may, at the Ministry’s discretion, be tendered on a standalone basis or grouped. For the proposed tender, the Ministry will conduct a transparent, fair and competitive reverse auctioning process to select a developer or a consortium for a single or a group of project(s).

Parties interested in participating (the “respondent”) in the process must fulfill the following pre- requisites for short listing:

  • Successful, proven and verifiable technical and financial capability and experience of no less than 10 years in developing renewable energy IPP Project(s) of no capacity less than 50 MW on an individual and not collective project basis, particularly utility scale solar PV projects.
  • An average annual turnover of more than US$ 10 Million for the last three years solely from revenues obtained via renewable energy projects development and operatorship, preferable majorly from solar PV projects.
  • Previously awarded projects should have been tendered according to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on similar auctions regionally or globally.
  • The respondent must have registered and licensed official regional and international offices.
  • The respondent must demonstrate previous initiative towards social responsibility and willingness to contribute to capacity building, to integrate local content, and to support the nascent renewable energy manufacturing and service sectors in the republic of Iraq.
  • The respondent must have never been barred by the Government of the Republic of Iraq, or any entity controlled or regulated by them, from participating in any project or conducting work of any form in the Republic of Iraq, including the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Also this applies to any other government, or any entity controlled or regulated by any other government.

Respondents that fulfill the requirements above shall express their interest to participate in the tender process by 29 April.2019 and the finnnal time to receive the (IPP) documentation 60 days from the announced date.

The number call of is MOE- HQ5/ 2019 An package (the “package”) must be sent in electronic copy format (a single PDF file) from an official business email address to 32_contracts@moelc.gov.iq

The requirements set herein;

  • Name of the respondent
  • Name and contact details (Postal address, telephone number, and email address) for the appropriate point of contact (Point of Contact) to whom future correspondence may be sent; and
  • Where the respondent is considering potential consortium partners, an indication of such intention and details of potential consortium partners (to the extent it is known).

The Ministry will not consider any proposals or packages submitted by mail, in person, or via liaison.

The following submission of the EOI, and after passing this stage this stage the respondent will bay the documentation (RFQ). The RFQ will include further information, including a description of the project(s), an outline of the tender process and eligibility criteria for pre- qualification.

The announcement shall not constitute in any way a commitment by the Ministry to proceed with the next stage, hold the proposed reverse auction, announce the tender, award any project or comply with the information provided herein. The Ministry retains the right to amend the scopes of the project(s), modify, extend, cancel or suspend the project(s), at any time for any reason without clarification or any liabilities for the Ministry or any other entity of the Government of the republic of Iraq.

This announcement shall be considered a complementary and integral part of the Project(s) Documentation.

(Source: NIC)