Baghdad


ZhenHua signs East Baghdad Deal

By John Lee.

China’s ZhenHua Oil [Jinhua] has signed a service contract to develop the southern part of the East Baghdad oil field.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] said that the signature of the contract was significance for Baghdad because it is the first project in the capital.

The development of the field will raise the production of the Midland Oil Company.

As part of the deal, the project will also provide social services, and see the construction of a housing complex with 2000 residential units.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Four Special Economic Zones open for Investment

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included four Special Economic Zones 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:

  1. Huteen zone/ Babylon Province for medium & heavy engineering manufacturing.
    Huteen is located in Babylon Province/ Eskandariya city near the State Co. for Mechanical Industries and the State Co. for Automobiles.
    40 km to the north of Hilla city center, 50 km to Baghdad city center.
    550 km to Basra city and its ports
    10 km east to the Euphrates
    12 km to the north of Al Musaiab thermo electricity station
    Total area is 15000000 m², around 6000 donum in addition to branch streets within the site.
    Sewage, water pipes, electricity and facilities are available with limited damages.
    45 big area warehouses protected with earth embankment for highly immunized products.
  2. Mid Euphrates zone in Dewaniya, 1500 donum for agricultural industries (agro-industry) including dairy products, fruits, vegetables and meat processing and canning.
  3. Fine Machining zone in Nineveh (Al Kindi Co., site or Jabir Bin Hayan Co. site). One of the sites to be selected to produce machinery and equipment for medium and small projects such as valves and pumps.
  4. Baghdad zone (near BIAP) for advance technologies (Smart city).
    The smart city shall provide various activities for interested people in information technology, entertainment and social technologies. It also includes a training center, weekly gathering of professionals and specialists, meetings and scientific debates halls, computer courses for children, restaurant and coffee shop, markets for electronic devices, internet services center, a training center to develop human skills, a museum for communication devices and post stamps representing Iraq’s history, halls for investing companies, halls for simulating modern training technologies, a hotel for the visitors and many other services.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

$210m Project to Improve Baghdad Water

Iraq: 5 Million Residents in Baghdad to Benefit from Improved Water Supply and Wastewater Services

A US$210 million World Bank project will improve the quality of drinking water supply and wastewater services to 5 million residents in Baghdad who suffer from water shortages and the outbreak of waterborne diseases due to inadequate infrastructure, rapid population growth, and the inflow of internally displaced people.

The Baghdad Water Supply and Sewerage Improvement Project, approved today by the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors will support the Mayoralty of Baghdad and the Baghdad Water and Sewerage Authorities through improvement in utility management, and generate employment during the construction, operation and maintenance stages of implementation.

The project will also help reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases and improve the quality of life, health, and sanitation.

The recently completed National Water and Land Strategy (2015-2035) indicates that Baghdad will need substantial investments in its water supply and wastewater treatment systems over the next 20 years. Given limited availability of public funding, attracting commercial finance will be critical for implementing this ambitious strategy”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “In close coordination with the International Finance Corporation, this project will focus on creating a more favorable business environment, and on supporting the preparation of feasibility studies and transactions to enable private sector participation in the water sector.

The residents of Baghdad deal with daily water service interruptions, especially during the hot summer months. Baghdad is one of the governorates impacted by outbreaks of waterborne diseases. Leakage from sewer pipes contaminates potable water networks and groundwater aquifers, which aggravates health and environmental problems. Contaminated water supply and improper disposal of sewage force families to spend a significant fraction of their income on medical treatment and to purchase bottled water.

Water supply and sanitation have immediate and major impacts on the quality of life of citizens”, said Thikra Alwash, Mayor of Baghdad. “We are committed to improving public services for the residents of Baghdad and to alleviating the burden households face on a daily basis in getting clean and reliable water supply. We are confident that improved access to these services can significantly strengthen people’s trust and confidence in the state and contribute to building social cohesion when it is most needed”.

Major cities like Baghdad face a growing population but have inadequate water infrastructure and service delivery capacity”, said Abdulhamid Azad, Lead Water Resources Specialist and Project Team Leader. This project will improve the city’s water and sanitations services as well as support the Baghdad Water and Sewerage Authorities in improving their institutional knowledge and preparedness in relation to water security and urban water management. Also, the project will finance capacity-building activities targeted to female technical and managerial staff to increase their professional skills and allow for career advancement within the Water and Sewerage Authorities.”

The project will finance the construction of a service reservoir with a total capacity of 135,000 cubic meters, which will help the city manage its water supply better in case of climate-induced droughts. The project will also rehabilitate existing sewerage pumping stations thus reducing the public health effects of untreated wastewater discharged into the Tigris. The project will contribute to the reduction of physical losses by replacing about 130 km of water supply distribution network and the creation of district metering areas.

(Source: World Bank)

4 Metropolitan Transport Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included four subway and metropolitan rail 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:

1. Baghdad Metro

The project consist of two lines with total length of 46km. it has 47 station, two locomotive garages on both lines, and three power transferring stations.

  • The first line (23km 25 station) starts from the main locomotive garage north east of Baghdad through (10*10) project location –previously, to Al Sadir city crossing Al Thawra St. heading to Baghdad center to Al Jimhoriya St. to its final destination Antar Sq.
  • The second line (23km 22 stations) starts from south east of Baghdad near Aqaba Bin Nafee Sq. –Sadoon St. City center, crossing the Tigris to reach Al Faris Al Arabi Sq. forming two branches, one to Al Mansoor and the other to Al Bayaa where the second locomotive garage is located.
  • The project can provide comfortable and efficient transportation services to 250 thousand passenger/h in all stations.
  • Ministry of Transportation contracted a number of specialized consulting companies in the mid-seventies to conduct a study regarding Mass Transit that resulted to using tracks according to the feasible study done in 1978 (Feasibility study and Preliminary Design of an integrated Transport System within the City of Baghdad)
  • A contract was signed with Sestra Co. (French), one of the specialized international companies, to conduct the initial designs and the tender documents under the title (Technical, Legal and Contractual Requirement for Baghdad Metro Project)
  • The estimated cost of the project including detailed designs and execution of the two lines excluding extensions is €5.7b which is roughly $6b according to the French Co. feasible study adding to that $2b for acquisitions, total cost will be $8b. EPC document was based on turnkey delivery system.

2. Baghdad Mono Rail

A vital project with good financial revenues, prepared by French Alstom Co.

  • Estimated cost: $ 1.5b
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Project purpose: to solve traffic jams and improve services in Baghdad.
  • Phases, locations, implementation lines in Baghdad
  • Phase one: 15.5 km, Kadhmiya-Al Sadir City-Shaab, with 12 internal station and crossing the Tigris
  • Phase two: 4.45km, the International Station in Alawi-Utaifiya with two internal stations.

3. Mono Rail in Holy Karbala Province

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Holy Karbala Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem of visitors coming to the Holy city. The project starts from the station Bada’at Aswadin Al-Husainiya District and going toward the Baghdad road taking the middle path of the main road toward Bab Twerej and passing through Al-Salam bridge and then through Al-Ibrahimiya station.

  • Length:18 km/ dual line/ 20 passengers stations.
  • Estimated cost: 450 million dollars.

4. Basra Metro

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Basra Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem.

  • The metro contains 5 main lines with 35 main and branch lines
  • First line: Sa’ad square-Basra University-can be extended to the city center.
  • Second line: sa’ad square-Zubair-can be extended to Safwan
  • Third line: Sa’ad-Al-Ashar-Shalamja
  • Fourth line: Sa’ad square-Abu Al-Khaseeb-Faw
  • Fifth line: Sa’ad square-14th July street-presidential palaces.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

Ride-Hailing Service is Launched in Baghdad

By John Lee.

The ride-hailing service Careem has reportedly launched its services in Baghdad.

According to Saudi Gazette, the Dubai-based company plans to expand to other cities across Iraq in the near future.

(Sources: Saudi Gazette, Arabian Business)

Alstom to Develop Rail Projects in Baghdad, Basra

French company Alstom has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Iraqi government for the development of urban transport in Baghdad and Basra.

The MoU was signed during the Franco-Iraqi government authorities meeting, in the presence of Dr.Sami Al Araji, Head of National Investment Commission (NIC) of Iraq and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, French Secretary of State.

The MoU covers two major projects. The first project is to implement a 20 km Elevated Train in Baghdad, with the supply of rolling stock, electromechanical systems, tracks, associated civil works. The light rail system would link Al-Mustansirya, AlShab, Al-Wazyria, Alsarafia AlEtafia bridge, Al-Khadumia, AlMuthana airport and Al-Alawi.

The second project focuses on the development of the Metro System in Basra, which consists of two elevated lines of approximately 30km each, 15 stations and one depot for each line from North to South, from Zubair to Shat Alarab and from East to West, from Karma to the Desert.

These projects would significantly contribute to the development of the country’s urban infrastructure and national economy.

“We appreciate the opportunity to develop industrial cooperation with the Republic of Iraq, in order to better address the country’s needs for urban transportation. Alstom is ready to bring its innovative technologies and sees the signature of this MoU as a first step towards the development of a long-term partnership with Iraq”, said Bernard Peille, Managing Director of Alstom in Western & Central Asia.

Alstom is already well established in the Middle East & Africa Region with more than 3,800 employees, 1,800 suppliers and present in more than 15 countries in the region with offices and joint-ventures in Algeria, Morocco, South Africa and Kazakhstan.

(Source: Alstom)

New Helipad at Al-Rasheed Hotel

By John Lee.

Al-Burhan Airways has opened a new helipad at Al-Rasheed Hotel in Baghdad.

A spokesman for the company told Iraq Business News that it’s planning to use the new facility to serve the sponsors of Frontier Exchange‘s Iraq Banking & Investment Summit, being held on 2nd and 3rd of December, by providing a helicopter shuttle between the hotel and Al-Burhan’s Centre for Business & Accommodation at Baghdad International Airport.

(Source: Al-Burhan Group)

Saudia Resumes Flights to Baghdad after 27 years

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, began operating nonstop flights between the airline’s hub in Jeddah and the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Monday.

The route will commence as a daily service until November 15, with double-daily frequency thereafter.

A single-class Airbus A330 will be deployed on the route, featuring 300 Guest Class (Economy) seats.

Linking the port city of Jeddah and Baghdad will provide a new air bridge and flexible connectivity for new business ties and growing economic development between the two nations.

The convenient schedule times departing at 12:35hrs from Jeddah, arriving into Baghdad at 15:00 hrs.

The second daily flight commencing November 16, will have a departure time from Jeddah at 03:50 hrs arriving at 06:15 hrs.

The total flying time between Jeddah and Baghdad is 2 hours 25 minutes (2 hours 50 minutes from Baghdad to Jeddah).

The route resumes after a 27 year interruption dating to 1990.

(Source: Saudia)

Iran Cancels Arbaeen Flights to Iraq Due to Dust Storms

The rising level of dust pollution in Iraq forced Iranian airlines to cancel their flights to the Arab country’s cities of Baghdad and Najaf ahead of Arbaeen, the 40th day after the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shiite Imam.

With dust clouds reducing visibility, Iranian flights heading to Baghdad and Najaf were grounded or delayed for a second straight day on Tuesday, Iranian media reported.

Officials at Imam Khomeini International Airport said the pilgrims traveling to Iraq for Arbaeen were required to call “199” and get the necessary information before heading to the airport.

Authorities at Najaf and Baghdad airports have also canceled all the flights because of the wind-blown dust caused by sandstorms in the Arab country.

A large group of Iranian pilgrims, wearing face masks, are stranded in airports and at Iran-Iraq joint border crossings.

Each year, a huge crowd of Shiite Muslims attend the religious commemoration of Arbaeen, by marching toward the holy city of Karbala, Iraq, which hosts the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS).

During the Arbaeen event, volunteers set up thousands of congregation halls and pavilions in Najaf and Karbala and along the road between them to offer services for the travelers and pilgrims.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Moscow, Baghdad discuss Moving Russian Embassy

Moscow is holding negotiations with Iraqi authorities on the possibility of moving the Russian embassy, which currently occupies a building in Baghdad’s Mansour district, to a safer area of the Iraqi capital city, local media reported, citing a Russian diplomatic source.

The negotiations to provide Russia with a new site for the embassy in Baghdad are underway. In general, the Iraqis are ready to provide it.  We are now assessing the propriety of accepting the site that the Iraqi authorities are proposing as this depends on the safety and the type of construction“, the source told press.   The source added that it was dangerous to stay in the current Embassy building, and only men without their families were sent to work there.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (pictured) has reaffirmed Moscow’s support for the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Following a meeting in Moscow between Bogdanov and the chief of Iraq’s anti-terrorist service Talib al-Kenani, Bogdanov also stated that Russia opposes any external interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.  He also said that that Russia will help to enhance the anti-terrorist capabilities of the Iraqi government.

For his part, al-Kinani said that Baghdad highly valued the cooperation with Russia in the anti-terrorism fight.

(Source: GardaWorld)