Six Industrial Projects Open for Investment

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included six industrial projects in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

A. Rehabilitation and development of white cement plants in Falluja.

  • Area: 642000m²
  • Production capacity: 290000 ton/year for the two lines. Production capacity can be increased to 350000 t/y
  • Cost for Rehabilitating and operating is $12.800.000
  • Experienced staff is available to operate the plant
  • The plant (which is the only one in Iraq that produces white cement) is not working at the present time. Cement plants in Kubaisa, Qaim, in Anbarand Badoosh, Sinjar, HamamAl Alilin Mosul are going through damage assessment by special committees (for the damages that occurred during 2014-2017).

B. Rehabilitation and development of glass plants in Ramadi

  • Multipurpose raw glass (13 type of glass), such as glass for buildings, automobile and mirrors
  • Iraq’s need for float glass is doubling annually. The current estimate of 1500 t/d covers the local market. The unique location of the plant is suitable for exporting this product to the neighboring countries as raw or final product.
  • Target production capacity: 500000 t/y to be divided into two phases according to market capacity and required types.
  • Annual production cost in full capacity to produce 700 t/d is around 94 b ID.
  • Return 16%
  • It is possible to establish a float glass plant in Karbala and Muthana provinces.

C. Rehabilitation and development of engineering plants in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals such as Al Nassir and Al SimoodCo., IbnMajid, The Heavy engineering equipment Co. (Ministry of Oil) and The Mechanical industries in Eskandariyato cover the needs of the oil & gas, electricity and heavy industries sectors for tanks, heat exchangers, valves, pipes, pumps, poles and cranes and other products the rehabilitation and development of these factories require new production lines as well as supporting infrastructure.

D. Caustic Soda project/ Chlorine/ Samawa/ which includes the production of caustic soda, chlorine, Hypochlorite and Hydrochloric Acid.

  • Area: 50 dunam
  • Production capacity: 40-50 ton/per day
  • Cost : 40 Million Dollars.

E. Sodium Carbonate project/Samawa/ produces Sodium Carbonate and Bicarbonate.

  • Area: 100 dunam
  • Production capacity: 50000 t/y
  • Cost : 50-60 Million Dollars.

F. Sodium Sulfate projects/Samawa

  • Area: 25 dunam
  • Production capacity: 10 ton/per day
  • Cost : 20 Million Dollars.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

ICTSI Invests additional $250m in Iraqi Port

By John Lee.

Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has started its second phase investment in new container terminal infrastructure well underway at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) at the Port of Umm Qasr.

The company said in a statement:

ICTSI is unique in demonstrating its commitment to the Iraqi ports sector via large scale investment in new terminal infrastructure and container handling systems. On completion of the current second phase expansion scheme, ICTSI will have invested in excess of USD250 million, the lion’s share of which is for a new berth, yard construction, and state-of-the-art handling equipment.

The phase two expansion, to be completed in stages by Q3 2019, will deliver 400 meters of new quay with a draft of 14 meters, alongside a new 30-hectare yard area and a 15-hectare secure parking area.

Three post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes would likewise be installed along the quay, and seven rubber tired gantries (RTG) will provide state-of-the-art stacking and handling power in the yard area. The overall design provides for handling container vessels of up to 9,000 TEU capacity. Upon completion of the second phase, BGT will have an annual handling capacity of over one million TEUs.

The second phase development was triggered by strong demand, a reflection of the high service levels and modern facilities offered by BGT to shipping lines and cargo owners.

Underlining BGT’s ongoing commitment to maintaining high service levels, the latest round of development also includes the acquisition of a cutter suction dredger with the dual objective of ensuring strict adherence to the construction schedule and maintaining draft alongside the terminal’s new and existing births.

“We are listening to our customers and are proactively meeting their needs,” says Phillip Marsham, BGT executive officer.

“The second phase expansion will not only allow us to respond immediately to scale needs, but also deliver added flexibility to the whole container handling operation with diverse benefits flowing to our customers,” he adds.

In Q1 2017, BGT completed the first phase of its terminal greenfield project, which included the construction of a new 250-meter berth and a 15-hectare yard area.

Last year also saw BGT’s expansion of its service portfolio with the development of quay and yard areas configured for the safe and efficient handling of oil and gas project cargoes, allowing BGT to establish successful partnerships with the oil and gas industry.

Operations at Berth 21 likewise commenced in January 2018, introducing a dedicated roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) facility, where international standard operational practices remain.

“Our commitment to helping Iraq develop international standard port infrastructure continues to expand,” says Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

“We invested for the long term in fixed infrastructure since day one. We continue to receive strong and most encouraging assistance from the General Company for Ports in Iraq and other government bodies in this respect. We are confident that we can continue to build on this productive partnership to the benefit of port users and the country as a whole,” Madsen underlined.

ICTSI’s USD250 million investment in BGT will progressively deliver world-class multipurpose cargo handling facilities and unparalleled efficiencies to the Port of Umm Qasr, including the capability to service larger, new generation box ships.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) continues its pioneering work in Iraq’s port sector with its second phase investment in new container terminal infrastructure well underway at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) at the Port of Umm Qasr.

ICTSI is unique in demonstrating its commitment to the Iraqi ports sector via large scale investment in new terminal infrastructure and container handling systems. On completion of the current second phase expansion scheme, ICTSI will have invested in excess of USD250 million, the lion’s share of which is for a new berth, yard construction, and state-of-the-art handling equipment.

The phase two expansion, to be completed in stages by Q3 2019, will deliver 400 meters of new quay with a draft of 14 meters, alongside a new 30-hectare yard area and a 15-hectare secure parking area.

Three post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes would likewise be installed along the quay, and seven rubber tired gantries (RTG) will provide state-of-the-art stacking and handling power in the yard area. The overall design provides for handling container vessels of up to 9,000 TEU capacity. Upon completion of the second phase, BGT will have an annual handling capacity of over one million TEUs.

The second phase development was triggered by strong demand, a reflection of the high service levels and modern facilities offered by BGT to shipping lines and cargo owners.

Underlining BGT’s ongoing commitment to maintaining high service levels, the latest round of development also includes the acquisition of a cutter suction dredger with the dual objective of ensuring strict adherence to the construction schedule and maintaining draft alongside the terminal’s new and existing births.

“We are listening to our customers and are proactively meeting their needs,” says Phillip Marsham, BGT executive officer.

“The second phase expansion will not only allow us to respond immediately to scale needs, but also deliver added flexibility to the whole container handling operation with diverse benefits flowing to our customers,” he adds.

In Q1 2017, BGT completed the first phase of its terminal greenfield project, which included the construction of a new 250-meter berth and a 15-hectare yard area.

Last year also saw BGT’s expansion of its service portfolio with the development of quay and yard areas configured for the safe and efficient handling of oil and gas project cargoes, allowing BGT to establish successful partnerships with the oil and gas industry.

Operations at Berth 21 likewise commenced in January 2018, introducing a dedicated roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) facility, where international standard operational practices remain.

“Our commitment to helping Iraq develop international standard port infrastructure continues to expand,” says Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

“We invested for the long term in fixed infrastructure since day one. We continue to receive strong and most encouraging assistance from the General Company for Ports in Iraq and other government bodies in this respect. We are confident that we can continue to build on this productive partnership to the benefit of port users and the country as a whole,” Madsen underlined.

ICTSI’s USD250 million investment in BGT will progressively deliver world-class multipurpose cargo handling facilities and unparalleled efficiencies to the Port of Umm Qasr, including the capability to service larger, new generation box ships.

(Source: ICTSI)

Iraq signs Deal for Kirkuk Refinery

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced that it has signed an agreement to build a 70,000-bpd oil refinery near Kirkuk.

The statement said the refinery would be built by “Rania international company“, which Reuters refers to as Ranya International, which it says is based in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The plant will produce high octane gasoline and other petroleum products.

(Source: Ministry of Oil, Reuters)

Crescent Petroleum to Increase Investment in Iraqi Gas

By John Lee.

UAE-based Crescent Petroleum is reportedly planning a significant increase in its production of natural gas at its Pearl Petroleum operations in Iraq.

President Badr Jafar (pictured) is quoted as saying that there will be an investment of $1 billion to boost production to 500 million cubic feet of gas per day by 2020, up from about 330 million cubic feet  and about 20,000 barrels per day of condensates at present.

According to Reuters, Pearl is owned 35 percent by Crescent Petroleum, 35 percent by Crescent’s affiliate Dana Gas, 10 percent by Austria’s OMV, 10 percent by Germany’s RWE, and 10 percent by Hungary’s MOL.

(Sources: Gulf News, Reuters)

Sweden helps Stabilize Newly Liberated Areas in Iraq

Sweden increases its support to stabilize newly liberated areas in Iraq

The Government of Sweden has contributed an additional US$ 12 million (SEK 100 million) to UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances initiatives for rapid stabilization of areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

This brings Sweden’s total contribution since 2015 to US$ 26 million (SEK 212.1 million).

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

Enormous progress is being made in the areas that have been newly liberated. It’s wonderful to see people choosing to go home and start rebuilding their lives and communities. At this stage in Iraq, nothing is more important.

“The scale of destruction and damage cannot be underestimated, however, particularly in Mosul, and this is why this generous contribution from Sweden comes at exactly the right time.”

H.E. Pontus Melander, the Ambassador of Sweden to Iraq, said:

Sweden is firmly committed to supporting the Government of Iraq’s efforts of providing essential services that benefit all Iraqis in the newly liberated areas.

“UNDPs Funding Facility for Stabilization is indeed a crucial component to ensure the military effort against ISIL. It is our sincere hope that stabilization will lay the foundation for a more peaceful and inclusive society. Beyond and in addition to stabilization, Iraq will remain a prioritised country for Swedish Development Cooperation.”

At the request of the Government of Iraq, UNDP established the Funding Facility for Stabilization in June 2015 to facilitate the return of displaced Iraqis, lay the groundwork for reconstruction and recovery, and safeguard against the emergence of violent extremism.

The Facility currently has more than 1,600 projects underway in 23 liberated cities and districts, helping local authorities to quickly rehabilitate essential infrastructure. More than 95 percent of all stabilization projects are done by the local private sector employing local labour.

(Source: UNDP)

DNO: Revenues and Investment Rise Sharply

DNO ASA, the Norwegian oil and gas operator, today announced a 50 percent hike in 2018 spending in the Kurdistan region of Iraq to USD 250 million net to the Company on the back of higher revenues and regular export payments.

Annual 2017 revenues stood at USD 347 million, up 72 percent from 2016, bolstered by fourth quarter revenues of USD 116 million, the highest quarterly level in more than three years.

The Company fast tracked the development of the Peshkabir field with two wells currently producing a total of 16,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and commingled for export with another 97,000 bopd from the other DNO-operated field, Tawke, on the same license.

DNO’s Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani:

“We made the Peshkabir Cretaceous discovery early in 2017, initiated early production in June, tripled output by year’s end and already have exported two million barrels with an estimated value of USD 100 million – more than twice the investment to date. And we have only started to appraise and develop this field which continues to surprise to the upside.”

A total of six Peshkabir wells will be drilled this year with field production expected to reach 30,000 bopd by summer and continue to ramp up in the second half of the year.

At the Tawke field, plans are being finalized with partner Genel Energy plc to drill four wells in 2018, in addition to the currently drilling Tawke-48 well slated for completion by end-February.

Elsewhere in Kurdistan, DNO has re-entered and sidetracked the Hawler-1 well to appraise the Benenan heavy oil field in the Erbil license, achieving a technical milestone with the first ever multilateral well and the first ever dual completion in Kurdistan. Testing will commence shortly, and if successful, will be followed by additional wells.

The Company received 12 monthly Kurdistan export payments during 2017 totaling USD 380 million net to DNO. The landmark August 2017 receivables settlement agreement, which increased DNO’s stake in the Tawke and Peshkabir fields from 55 percent to 75 percent plus three percent of gross license revenues over five years, contributed to higher export payments.

Operational cash flow more than tripled to USD 339 million in 2017 and DNO exited the year with a net cash position of USD 30 million versus net debt of USD 139 million at end-2016.

(Source: DNO)

Zain returns to Profitability in Iraq

By John Lee.

Zain Iraq has reported a net profit of $29 million for 2017, up from a loss of $5 million the previous year.

In a statement, the company said:

Despite the challenging yet improving socio-economic circumstances facing the operation, Zain Iraq performed exceptionally well when compared to the previous year.

“Revenues grew consecutively on a quarter-on-quarter basis, with full-year revenues reaching USD 1.1 billion, a 2% increase Y-o-Y and EBITDA reached USD 382 million, down 3%.

“The operation reported a net profit of USD 29 million, up 657% Y-o-Y compared to a loss of USD 5 million in the previous year, with EBITDA margin standing at 35%. The expansion of 3.9G services across the country and restoration of sites in the West and North, combined with numerous customer acquisition and retention initiatives, especially in core regions, resulted in impressive addition of two million customers (16% increase) to reach 14.7 million.

“Also contributing to the operation’s financial revival was the significant growth of data revenues, strong growth in the corporate segment, increase in voice revenues through the launch of numerous segmented offers, and the improvement of customer experience and customer services.

“The strength of the Zeyara holy season was also a factor as Zain Iraq heavily promoted connections and exclusive deals with roaming its partners. Cost optimization was also a key focus in major items such as repair and maintenance.

(Source: Zain)

Zain returns to Profitability in Iraq

By John Lee.

Zain Iraq has reported a net profit of $29 million for 2017, up from a loss of $5 million the previous year.

In a statement, the company said:

Despite the challenging yet improving socio-economic circumstances facing the operation, Zain Iraq performed exceptionally well when compared to the previous year.

“Revenues grew consecutively on a quarter-on-quarter basis, with full-year revenues reaching USD 1.1 billion, a 2% increase Y-o-Y and EBITDA reached USD 382 million, down 3%.

“The operation reported a net profit of USD 29 million, up 657% Y-o-Y compared to a loss of USD 5 million in the previous year, with EBITDA margin standing at 35%. The expansion of 3.9G services across the country and restoration of sites in the West and North, combined with numerous customer acquisition and retention initiatives, especially in core regions, resulted in impressive addition of two million customers (16% increase) to reach 14.7 million.

“Also contributing to the operation’s financial revival was the significant growth of data revenues, strong growth in the corporate segment, increase in voice revenues through the launch of numerous segmented offers, and the improvement of customer experience and customer services.

“The strength of the Zeyara holy season was also a factor as Zain Iraq heavily promoted connections and exclusive deals with roaming its partners. Cost optimization was also a key focus in major items such as repair and maintenance.

(Source: Zain)