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.

Philippines-based International Terminal Container Services Inc. (ICTSI) has reportedly allocated additional funds for capacity expansion at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) at the Port of Umm Qasr.

Rafael Consing, ICTSI chief financial officer, is quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as saying that this year’s capex budget of $380 million will be invested at its four ports in Manila, Mexico, Honduras, and Iraq.

(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

By John Lee.

The largest container vessel to dock at the Port of Umm Qasr has recently arrived at the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).

According to Container Management Magazine, Evergreen’s 5,652 teu-capacity Ever Useful, with a length of 285 m, beam of 40 m and a weight of 69,246 tonnes, called at Berth 27 at the end of August.

The magazine quotes BGT’s chief executive officer Phillip Marsham as saying:

“The call of the Ever Useful … clearly demonstrates the growing confidence of container lines in the economy of Iraq and the associated container trade growth.”

Situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500km from Baghdad, BGT is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).

(Source: Container Management Magazine)

By John Lee.

Fleet Line Shipping (FLS) has won a contract to transport 11,000 tons oil and gas equipment and pipes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Iraq.

The first batch of pipe laying machines, each weighing 45 tons, was loaded on a ro-ro ship from Jebel Ali to the port of Umm Qasr in Iraq.

Delivery will be 450 kms from port.

(Source: X2 Elite)

APL has announced that the Gulf Asia Express 2 (GA2) service will soon be calling the port of Umm Qasr.

The service will also make a second call to Jebel Ali during the return leg of its service rotation to Asia. These developments demonstrate APL’s commitment to continuously provide market connectivity between the Far East and Middle East.

The enhanced GA2 service is primed to offer Asian shippers direct access to the Umm Qasr port in Iraq which is only accessible through feeder services via Jebel Ali currently. With the addition of Jebel Ali to its Middle East – Asia lap, the GA2 service will offer shippers with the best in class transit time for export cargo from Jebel Ali to the Far East.

The improved GA2 service will commence sailing from Shanghai on 6 August with the following port rotation:
Shanghai – Ningbo -Taipei – Shekou – Tanjung Pelepas – Port Klang – Jebel Ali – Umm Qasr – Jebel Ali – Port Klang – Hong Kong – Shanghai

(Source: APL)

Basra Multi-purpose Terminal (BMT), the largest multi-purpose port facility in Iraq, announces a major development in the Port of Umm Qasr.

Marking a significant expansion to their existing facilities, BMT will be increasing their total investment in Umm Qasr Port to over USD 200 million, aimed to further advance the port in the international trade and transport sector.

In addition to BMT’s current 4 berths and 650,000 m2 of terminal space in the port of Umm Qasr, the development entails a further construction of 3 new berths, as well as a new roro berth.

The quay wall that will be constructed at this facility will be based on a block wall construction, a technique that is unique to Iraq. It has a high seismic resistance and a life span of approximately 100 years, without any need for maintenance.

BMT has awarded the quay wall construction contract to the Turkish company Enka.

The design of this new facility was done in cooperation with the Dutch-based engineering consultancy Royal Haskoning DHV.

Once completed, BMT will offer 7 berths in the Port of Umm Qasr, with over 1 million square meters of terminal space. The new terminal will include an area especially designed for receiving heavy lifts cargoes, able to easily withstand cargoes of over 1.000 tons, while the quay wall will be able to receive vessels with a capacity of 14.000 TEUs.

In addition, BMT will furnish their new facility with all new equipment, benchmarking this project on an international scale. All together this investment will further strengthen the position of Iraq as international trade partner in the region.

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)

By John Lee.

A new shipping route has been announced between Qatar and Iraq.

Serving Hamad Port in Qatar and Umm Qasr Port in Iraq, the first ship set to arrive in Iraqi on 1st May.

The announcement was made during the meeting between Ministers of Transport of the two countries.

(Source: The Peninsula Qatar, Qatar Ministry of Transport)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) has joined the Council.

BGT is one of Iraq’s premier container and multi-purpose cargo handling facility, with a team of high-performing Iraqi and International port professionals who deliver customer-focused, high productivity and congestion-free port services to Iraq’s economy.

Situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500km from Baghdad, the Terminal is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI). ICTSI is an internationally recognized expert in port construction, operation and management with more than 30 years of experience. It is one of the major maritime terminal operators in the world present in 6 continents, operating 30 marine terminals in 20 countries positioned in some of the world’s most strategic trade lanes.

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC says:

“IBBC is delighted to welcome Basra Gateway Terminal to the Council. BGT has a reputation for great professionalism and efficiency in Iraq and is managed by international experts in port operation and management. I have no doubt that BGT will prove a valuable addition to the IBBC and its growing membership in 2018.”

Investment in Iraq:

In April 2014, ICTSI signed a contract for 26 years with General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) to operate, develop, and expand the container handling facilities at the Port of Umm Qasr. Presently BGT is operating four berths with two more under construction, catering for container, general, project and RORO cargo.

ICTSI is half way through a USD 230 million investment programme, which includes rehabilitation and operation of the port’s existing facility at Berth 20 and construction of three new berths at Berth 25, 26 and 27. In 2017, BGT was extended to perform the operation at Berth 19 and 21 for general cargo and RORO cargo respectively hence helping BGT to launch itself in the project cargo for oil and gas sector business.

These investments have been supported by the introduction of state-of-the-art technology in Iraq’s port sector with BGT being the first terminal to introduce the SAP ERM system and the Navis Sparcs N4 Terminal Operating System.

(Source: IBBC)