By Ahmed Tabaqchali, for 1001 Iraqi Thoughts.

Iraq’s new entrepreneurial generation of civil activists’ sense of civic duty flourished during the trauma brought by the ISIS takeover of a third of the country in 2014, and has continued to grow since then as reviewed in a recent report.

The report into “A New Generation of Activists Circumvents Iraq’s Political Paralysis” also looked into the origins and the determination of these civil activists to “develop solutions to policy problems that the political class has been unable to address”.

Click here to read the full article.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad hasd advised all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.

Actions to Take:

  • Do not travel to Iraq
  • Avoid places known as U.S. citizen gathering points.
  • Keep a low profile
  • Be aware of your surroundings

Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Baghdad
Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
Telephone (during business hours)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;

From the United States:  301-985-8841
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;

From the United States:  301-985-8841

E-mail: BaghdadACS@state.gov
Website: https://iq.usembassy.gov/

U.S. Consulate General Erbil
413 Ishtar, Ankawa Erbil, Iraq
Telephone (during business hours)

From Iraq:  0760-030-3227;

From the United States:  240-264-3467 extension 4554
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)

From Iraq:  066-211-4554;

From the United States:  240-264-3467

E-mail: ErbilACS@state.gov
Website: https://iq.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/erbil/

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

(Source: US Embassy)

IOM Iraq’s Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) encourages rapid, large-scale private sector job creation and economic recovery through tailored support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The EDF is a financing mechanism that provides SMEs with financial capital to contribute to their recovery and/or expansion.

To assess the capacity of the market to absorb medium-sized grants, the EDF market assessment was rolled out in Kirkuk, Fallujah, and Mosul in November 2018.

The assessment was led by IOM Iraq’s Return and Recovery Unit (RRU) and contributes to the necessary groundwork to introduce the EDF in any location.

Please see below the assessments for three governorates:

(Source: IOM)

By John Lee.

The China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation (CPECC) has been awarded a contract to recover natural gas from the Halfaya oilfield.

Planned production is put at 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, according to a statement from Iraq’s Ministry of Oil.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

By John Lee.

Standard Chartered bank is reportedly reviving stalled plans to open a new branch for corporate customers in Basra in the first half of 2020.

This would be the UK-based bank’s third branch in Iraq.

Its Iraq CEO Mohammed Jawad Al-Delaimy told Bloomberg:

“Security in Iraq has improved dramatically … We have witnessed international companies decreasing their security requirements and risk levels.”

He added that profits in Iraq have been increasing since 2014, and said the bank plans to sign financing deals worth about $500 million for electricity projects by early next year.

More here.

(Source: Bloomberg)

By John Lee.

Japex is reportedly planning to increase production at the Gharaf oil field from around 90,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) currently to 230,000 bpd by the end of 2020.

S&P Global Platts quotes Japex director Michiro Yamashita as saying that the company has allocated capital expenditure of $460 million for the project in fiscal 2019-20 (April-March).

(Source: S&P Global Platts)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 9th May 2019).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD596 (+1.8%) / $642 (+1.8%) (weekly change) (-9.6% and -9.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 7.5 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD4.0 bn ($3.3 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Ready-Made Clothes (IRMC) invited its shareholders to receive their cash dividend (5% cash dividend, IQD0.05 dividend per share) starting May. 12, 2019.
  • According to the Board of Insurance, Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) will resume trading on May. 12, 2019 due to the company’s commitment to the Board of Insurance’s letter.
  • Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) invited its shareholders to receive their cash dividend (7% cash dividend, IQD0.07 dividend per share) starting May. 8, 2019.
  • Al-Khazer for Construction Materials (IKHC) resumed trading on May. 6, 2019 due to disclosing 2018 annual financial results.
  • Kurdistan International Islamic Bank (BKUI) resumed trading on May. 5, 2019 after electing 4 original and 7 alternative board members.

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Building a successful business means delivering what you promise.

When I recently needed to go to Baghdad at short notice, I remembered a conversation I had with Abir Burhan, Operations Director of Al-Burhan Group: “Any time you want to go to Iraq,” he said, “we can take care of your visa, flights, accommodation and security – just give me a call.”

So I did, and a few days later I was on a plane from London Gatwick to Baghdad with Iraqi Airways, booked via IKB Travel; conveniently, a direct flight, which saves the time and trouble of getting a connecting flight somewhere else.

Staying at the Al-Burhan Centre, just minutes from the terminal building at Baghdad International Airport, was also very convenient, and probably the most secure location in Baghdad, situated as it is within the heavily guarded airport complex.

While in Iraq, I (and my family!) also needed to know that I’d be safe when travelling about in the capital; Gethin Wilson, Operations Manager at Al-Burhan Security, and his highly professional team, ensured that I was always where I needed to be, on time and in total safety.

But it’s not just about convenience and security. The success of the Al-Burhan Centre owes as much to the friendliness and hospitality of its people as it does to their efficiency and professionalism.

These factors are even more important for those staying long-term. Many of the guests at the Al-Burhan Centre are ex-pats, staying on rotations that can last weeks or months at a time, so it’s important not only that that they feel safe, but also that they are well catered for and enjoy their time at the centre.

George Mansour and his staff really understand that excellent food and a comfortable and friendly environment are essential for well-being, morale and productivity. And despite all the good food, there’s no excuse for putting on weight, as the centre even has two gyms to help work off the calories.

The al-Burhan family have created a real home from home, and take seriously the sign in their office: “Only promise what you can deliver.





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)