From Peace to prosperity:

The Conference to find out what’s happening for Iraq business.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Autumn Conference in Dubai on December 8th is set against a backdrop of relative peace and security in Iraq, and the prospect of oil revenues surging through the economy is driving a wider range of business opportunities and a prospective 8% increase in GDP.

Peace is enabling the economy to diversify through the revenues that pay for a range of infrastructure projects. So this Autumn we are focusing on a range of sectors set to benefit from a stable Iraq: namely, Water, Transport and Logistics, Energy and Tech.

The recent protests have also spurred on Government reforms and incentives to drive employment, entrepreneurship and service diversity, and increase the volume of opportunity that lies ahead and the prospects for not just business-to-business but also a burgeoning consumer market.

The Iraqi Electricity Minister will likely be speaking about his reforms to open up the market to SME’s, training and new players. Other ministers including those from Construction and Transport are attending.

The recent announcement of a 10year tax-free period for SMEs in Iraq will also stimulate the Tech entrepreneur market and drive the uptake of engineering skills.

At this conference, we will discuss big-picture economics with Professor Frank Gunter (Lehigh University), Ahmed Tabaqchali (AFC Iraq Fund), and Simon Penny (UK Trade & Investment), who will address the economic backdrop in the Middle East, and the context for Iraq in particular.

The World Bank and Wood Plc will cover the water sector, while Rolls Royce, Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT), and Menzies will look at transport and logistics, and Iraq’s Electricity Minister, GE, Siemens and Enka will focus on energy.

Alongside the conference our Tech Forum brings experts on HealthTech and Educational Tech, including speakers from GE, Siemens Healthcare, KPMG, EY, Google and the British Council, among others.

While key opportunities will be outlined, the real opportunity for business is to meet the people directly involved in contracts and supply-chain opportunities. This is the place to do business, to network and to find out what’s happening in the Middle East’s most potentially dynamic market that is Iraq.

For further information and to find the latest updates on speakers – more are expected – please contact  london@webuildiraq.org or visit the website to register for tickets.

https://iraqbritainbusiness.org/event/autumn-conference-at-the-address-hotel-dubai

The year it’s all on the up…

By John Lee.

Scottish-based engineering firm Wood Group plc has said that its operations in Iraq will see increased activity.

In its half-year results for the six months ended 30 June 2019, the company said:

“Growth in 2019 will be led by Operations Solutions, where we expect increased activity in Iraq with customers including Basra Gas, and in Papua New Guinea and Australia with Exxon.”

The company combined with Amec Foster Wheeler in 2017.

(Source: Wood Group)

By John Lee.

Wood Group has said that it is seeing strong growth in the Middle East due to “increased activity in Iraq with Exxon and Basra Gas [Company (BGC)]“.

In its full year results for the year ended 31 December 2018, the UK-based energy services company said it sees “opportunities in Middle East driven by Iraq“.

In addition to trading as Wood Group, the company is also sole owner of Iraqi subsidiaries Ghabet El Iraq for General Contracting and Engineering Services, Engineering Consultancy (LLC) and Touchstone General Contracting, Engineering Consultancy and Project Management LLC.

(Source: Wood Group)

A strategic partnership has been established between Biwater and Wood to work together in Iraq to address acute water shortages, beginning with the supply of water to the Basrah region.

This important agreement between two leading UK infrastructure firms, demonstrates the scale of international interest and support in Iraq’s extensive infrastructure reconstruction efforts, and follows the signing of a MoU between the Government of Iraq and UK Export Finance (UKEF) in March 2017, to underwrite GBP £10 billion of infrastructure projects in Iraq over the next 10 years.

Commenting on the partnership, Biwater’s Chairman, Sir Adrian White (pictured), said:

I am delighted with this new partnership, which is another significant step forward in delivering our respective ambitions within the water industry.

“Biwater’s focus will be to work with Wood – applying the vast knowledge and expertise of both companies – to deliver on the immediate requirements for Iraq’s water infrastructure, especially that required by the Basrah Governorate.”

Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood’s Specialist Technical Solutions business, said:

We are proud to be offering our diverse capabilities and broad, innovative solutions to support a partnership that offers our continuing support to the redevelopment of Iraq as well as making a difference to millions of people.

“Our focus will be on providing safe and reliable water distribution systems to the Iraqi population. We look forward to working in partnership with Biwater, which is another significant step towards broadening our portfolio.”

(Source: Biwater)

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq, led a delegation of 25 IBBC member company representatives on a Trade Mission to Baghdad organised by IBBC Managing Director, Mr Christophe Michels and IBBC Co-Chairman and Iraq Representative, Mr Rasmi Al-Jabri.

Delegates included representatives from Penspen Ltd, Kuwait Energy, Serco, Wood, Ratba’a Contracting Co., Management Partners, Gulftainer, HWH & Associates, Al-Burhan Group, CCC, Dar Group, Restrata, Rolls Royce and new member XReach Ltd.

The delegation met with a number of ministers and high ranking officials to discuss future policies and opportunities for growth as well as focusing on business opportunities for IBBC member companies.

They also discussed the upcoming IBBC Autumn Conference in Dubai to be held on 12 November which will be attended by a powerful Iraqi Government delegation led by the Minister of Electricity. To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

During the visit, delegates had meetings with:

  • Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, Minister of Electricity
  • Mr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Committee
  • Dr Mahdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers
  • Dr Ann Nafi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • ‎Mr Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Istabrak al Shouk, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Imran Abass, Deputy Minister of Transport
  • H.E. Mr Fayyad Naama Deputy Minister for refining operations, Ministry of Oil

The above meetings were joined by a number of Director Generals heading up the different departments in the various ministries.

On Sunday 29 October, IBBC Member Al Burhan Group, generously invited delegates for dinner at the Al Burhan Centre near the Baghdad International Airport.

The delegation was also invited for a Dinner at the British Embassy in Baghdad on Monday 30 October, where members delegates met with Representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade, the World Bank, the EU and the Prime Ministers Advisory Council.

 

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

Energy services company Wood Group has said that the “pace of activity” on its contract with Exxon in Iraq is “slower than anticipated.” Exxon operates the West Qurna I field in southern Iraq.

In its Annual General Meeting Statement on this morning, the Scottish-based company added that management’s expectations of full year trading performance are broadly unchanged.

The company as won contracts valued at $230 million in Iraq over the past two years.

(Source: Wood Group)

UK-based energy services company Wood Group has secured two new, three-year contracts, collectively valued at over $140 million, to deliver technical services and expertise to one of the world’s leading international oil companies (IOC) in Iraq.

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) will provide brownfield front end engineering design, detailed engineering, project management, procurement services, system completion and commissioning support for operations and start-up on a significant onshore asset in southern Iraq, under the two contracts.

Effective immediately and creating more than 100 new jobs, the contracts will be delivered from southern Iraq and Dubai, where WGPSN established an office in 2015.

David Buchan (pictured), WGPSN’s eastern region managing director, said:

These two significant contract wins demonstrate Wood Group’s commitment to working closely with key clients to extend our operations in Iraq, where we see a growth market that complements our broad service capabilities, international knowledge and strong expertise.

“Establishing an office in Dubai and a base in Iraq reflects our intention to build lasting customer relationships and focus on the development of our Iraqi workforce and supply chain partnerships.

(Source: Wood Group)

Wood Group has won a new contract worth approximately $90 million to deliver services to one of the world’s leading blue-chip international oil companies (IOC) in Iraq.

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) will provide project management for an onshore facility under the three year contract, which is effective immediately.

Concept and FEED work for future projects will also be included in the contract, which creates more than 100 new positions and retains 20 jobs.

Personnel will be based in Wood Group offices in Iraq and Dubai.

David Buchan (pictured), WGPSN’s Eastern Europe, Russia, Caspian and Middle East (ERC & MER) managing director said:

“This major contract builds on our strong partnerships with clients in Iraq. We look forward to leveraging Wood Group’s international knowledge and expertise towards the continued success and development of our client’s facility.

“Iraq is an area where we see significant growth opportunities for our broad service capabilities and building our presence in this region is a key objective for us.

“This is reflected in our creation of another office in Dubai, which adds to our presence in the Middle East and our commitment to developing local talent, creating job opportunities and building relationships with the supply chain in Iraq.”

(Source: Wood Group)

Penspen, a leading global provider of engineering and management services to the energy industry, has underlined its commitment to growth in the Middle East with three new appointments and investment in a new office in Iraq.

Ahmed Al-Dadah and Na’el Barghouthi have this month joined the company from other engineering providers, whilst Michael Simm, EVP of Engineering and Project Management, has been newly appointed to the role of Regional Director for Penspen’s Middle East business.

A new Iraq office, located in Basra will expand Penspen’s geographical reach and become the fourth location in the region joining Abu Dhabi, Doha and Khafji.

Peter O’Sullivan (pictured), Chief Executive of Penspen said:

This is an exciting time for Penspen as we continue our substantial growth in the Middle East. I am confident Michael, Na’el and Ahmed will play a key role in strengthening our 300-strong team in the region.

“Their industry expertise and leadership skills will drive our strategic objectives to grow our engineering, project management, field development and asset integrity businesses. ”

Ahmed Al-Dadah has been appointed to the role of Business Development Director for E&PM. He joins the company from Amec Foster Wheeler, where he spent 12 years working in various project delivery and business development roles. His experience includes working in the successful execution of study, pre-FEED, FEED, EPC phases across both new build and modifications projects

Na’el Barghouthi joins Penspen as Director of Asset Integrity, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. Na’el’s career spans over 15 years working in the oil and gas industry with experience in management, offshore engineering and integrity. He has previously worked for Wood Group Kenny, GE Oil & Gas, Al Shaheen Holding Joint Venture, and Occidental Petroleum of Qatar.

Regional Director of the Middle East, Michael Simm, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Ahmed and Na’el to the team. Their skills and experience in delivering key services that our clients require in today’s lower-oil price economy will be of great value in further expanding our Middle East presence.”

(Source: Penspen)