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)

International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has formally inaugurated two new berths which for the first time offer the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s main dry cargo port, the ability to handle container vessels of up to 14,000TEU.

The inauguration ceremony marked both the opening for business of the two new berths, Berths 25 and 26, and the completion of ICTSI’s overall USD250 million investment programme at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).

Located in Umm Qasr’s North Port, BGT operates a high capacity container terminal together with specialised facilities for the handling of general cargo, ro-ro, dry bulk and project cargo for the oil and gas sector.

Earlier development included the construction of Berth 27, adjacent to the new berths, with the three berths now offering a combined continuous berth length of 600m. Design depth alongside Berths 25 and 26 is 14 meters.

The two new berths are extensively fitted out with state-of-the-art container handling equipment and I.T. systems. Three new quayside gantry cranes, each with an outreach of 56 meters and able to handle up to 21 rows of containers on the deck of a vessel, are installed on the quayside. On the landside seven new, six high stacking, rubber-tired gantries (RTGs) join three existing units bringing the total fleet to 10 RTGs.

A number of senior government officials attended the inauguration ceremony including Dr. Safaa Al-Fayyadh, Director General of the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Chief Atheal Abid Ali Salman, North Port Director, Umm Qasr, together with Enrique K. Razon, Chairman & President, ICTSI. Speaking at the time Mr Razon underlined:

“ICTSI’s completion of our multi-phase USD250 million investment programme highlights our commitment to Iraq and our readiness to meet the challenge of providing much needed, brand new, port infrastructure and handling technology. We are pleased,” he continued, “to lead the way for Umm Qasr to serve higher capacity container vessels, up to and including the so-called ‘New Panamax’ class (14,000TEU), and as  a result to open the door for cargo importers and exporters to benefit from substantial scale economies.”

BGT already receives direct calls from a number of shipping lines but traditionally these vessels have not been fully utilized due to draft limitations. The latest berth development removes this limitation plus encourages other shipping lines to introduce larger vessels with the resulting cost and efficiency benefits passing directly to cargo owners.

BGT has also undertaken, as part of its investment programme, a range of works that provided value-added services in addition to the core container handling and storage processes. Dedicated areas for reefer handling, export container stuffing and secure truck parking have been developed and currently a 10-hectare yard expansion is underway to cater for future growth.

Outside of the container sector BGT has also implemented significant investment into the terminal complex’s ro-ro facilities with this including dedicated warehousing and secure areas. Similarly, specialised handling services and facilities have been established to accommodate the efficient handling of project cargo for the oil and gas sector including secure open storage and warehousing.

Phillip Marsham, Chief Executive Officer, BGT said on the occasion of the inauguration:

“This is the start of a new era in Iraq’s Port industry. As Iraq’s economy continues to grow, it is imperative to create the necessary port capacity for the future. ICTSI is proud to lead the way in this field and to be the No 1 private sector investor in new port capacity supporting economic growth in Iraq.”

(Source: ICTSI)

By John Lee.

Shares in Philippines-based International Terminal Container Services Inc. (ICTSI), which operates the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) (pictured) at the port of Umm Qasr, have closed up more than 6 percent on Wednesday following a strong set of results.

The company said in a statement:

“Net income attributable to equity holders of US$128.5 million grew by 42 percent compared to the US$90.2 million earned in the same period last year mainly due to improved operating income contribution from the terminals in Iraq, Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Subic in the Philippines.”

(Source: ICTSI)

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)

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.