Construction & Engineering In Iraq


Angelina Jolie visits Domiz Refugee Camp

Statement by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie at Domiz refugee camp in Iraq

In my country, when we speak of the Middle East we often focus on conflict and human suffering.

And it is true that countless families in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen are suffering from conflict they personally have no part in, instability they cannot control, and extremism that they reject.

But on this visit I have been reminded, as I am every time I am here, of the truly extraordinary dignity, resilience, warmth, generosity and grace of the people of the Middle East.

And I want to thank the people of Iraq for their generosity towards Syrian refugees and displaced people, and in particular the KRI government, which is setting a model for refugee protection.

I’m happy have been here on Eid al-Fitr, and I wish the Iraqi people, the Syrian people, and families across this region and beyond, Eid Mubarak, or Jaznawa Piroz Bit.

I am in Iraq to mark World Refugee Day next week. On Tuesday, UNHCR will publish new figures showing that the numbers of displaced people, and the duration of their exile, are the highest they have ever been. At the same time political solutions seem completely lacking, leaving a void that humanitarian aid cannot fill.

Words like “unsustainable” don’t paint a picture of how desperate these times are.

This is my third visit to Domiz camp in six years. The vast majority of its inhabitants are Syrian women and children.

Their lives are on hold indefinitely because of the war. They cannot go back, they cannot move forward, and each year they have less to live on.

I met two mothers this morning, both of them widows. They both lost their husbands while living as refugees, to medical conditions that could normally have been treated.

And now they are both caring for young aged five 5 and 7 who also have life-threatening medical conditions.

When UNHCR’s Syria response was only 50 per cent funded last year, and this year it is only 17 per cent funded, there are terrible human consequences. We should be under no illusions about this.

When there is not even the bare minimum of aid, refugee families cannot receive adequate medical treatment, women and girls are left vulnerable to sexual violence, many children cannot go to school, and we squander the opportunity of being able to invest in refugees so that they can acquire new skills and support their families.

This is the picture in Iraq, in Syria, and wherever in the world you find refugees and displaced people today.

The only answer is to end the conflicts that are forcing people to flee their homes – and for all governments to meet their responsibilities.

So this World Refugee Day I hope that people around the world will consider this larger picture:

What this level and length of displacement says about our world being dangerously out of balance.

What it will say about us if our response is to be selective about when we help, and when we are prepared to defend human rights.

And what it will mean for the future if we are unable to provide enough basic humanitarian support for displaced people and unable to find any solutions to conflicts at the same time.

That is the situation today, but it is not hopeless.

There are millions of refugees and displaced people who want to return home and to work and start over – as I saw in Mosul yesterday, where brick by brick, with their own hands, they are rebuilding their homes.

There are countries that are keeping their borders open to refugees, despite all the pressures and challenges.

There are aid relief workers who are stretching the aid resources, somehow, to minimize loss of life and provide protection.

And there are people around the world who are more committed than ever to defending human rights and basic values.

So on World Refugee Day this year I hope that we can find the strength to find a better way forward together: so that we move into a new era of preventing conflict and reducing instability, rather than simply struggling to deal with its consequences.

Thank you.

(Source: UNHCR)

Video: Iraq needs $90bn to Rebuild

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Entire cities, including western Mosul and Ramadi, have been destroyed in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in Iraq.

The Iraqi government says large-scale reconstruction across the country hasn’t started yet because it doesn’t have the money.

About $90 billion is needed to rebuild the country after 15 years of war since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, but Iraq’s allies pledged only $30bn At a donor conference in February.

Al Jazeera‘s Charles Stratford reports from Iraq’s capital Baghdad:

Video: Iraq’s Heritage Buildings Deteriorating from Neglect

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The leaning tower of Pisa is well known, but what’s not so well known is that Baghdad also has a tower with a tendency to tilt.

However, it is not the only heritage building suffering from poor maintenance and neglect.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from the capital of Iraq:

New Investment at Umm Qasr Port

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.

Mitsubishi awarded $110m Iraq Port Contract

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)

$66m for Tharthar Lake Water Management Project

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet held its weekly regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Al-Abadi.

It discussed energy, housing, transport, security, financial reforms and delivery of public services, and also reviewed several reconstruction projects across Iraq.

The cabinet approved measures to accelerate the transition to electronic payment of salaries to all state and public-sector employees in Iraq, and approved additional resources to support the appointment of 200 officers to Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service.

It also authorised the allocation of 79 billion Iraqi dinars ($66 million) from the 2018 Contingency Fund to finance the first phase of the Tharthar Lake sustainable water management project.

The Cabinet decided to separate Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) from the Ministry of Transport, and attach it the Cabinet Office.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Hanwha receives $230m Payment for Bismaya

By John Lee.

South Korea’s Hanwha Engineering and Construction (E&C) has said it haws received an additional payment of $230 million from the Iraqi government for work carried out in the first half of this year on the Bismayah New City project in Baghdad.

According to the report from Business Korea, the total contract is valued at $10.1 billion, of which Hanwha has so far received a total of $3.47 billion.

The project will see around 100,000 homes built near the capital.

(Source: Business Korea)

Mosul’s Great Mosque to be Restored to Former Glory

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

When the Al-Nouri Mosque and the adjacent al-Hadba minaret in Mosul were bombed by the Islamic State (IS) on June 21, 2017, many thought that the landmark mosque and its “hunchback” minaret most famous for its leaning structure were gone for good.

But today, there is some hope of restoring both structures. The reconstruction of the mosque and the minaret will start in June, said Nofal Sultan al-Akoub, the governor of Iraq’s northern province of Ninevah, on May 6.

The announcement follows a protocol signed April 23 between Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, where the latter would commit $50.4 million over five years for the reconstruction of the mosque that dates from the 12th century. UNESCO is also a signatory to the reconstruction agreement.

The mosque is an important symbol for Mosul, and it was used in 2014 as the venue where Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and militants proclaimed a caliphate. Three years later, IS fighters blew it to pieces weeks before their defeat.

The minaret, which was one of the few remaining parts of the original construction, is less known to the international world. It had a design often attributed to Iranian architectural influence, with a white plastered top. It had a significant lean since the 14th century, and its likeness can be found on 10,000-dinar bills.

The main questions on the renovation are whether the amount allocated, which is one of the largest sums committed for a restoration project in Iraq, will be enough and whether the reconstruction will be successful.

Mohammed Nouri al-Abed Rabbo, a parliament member from Ninevah, told Al-Monitor that the next phase would be to take bids for the reconstruction after the government agencies finalized the contract and the blueprints for the work required.

Abed Rabbo added that the reconstruction process “needs more funding than what has been allocated by the UAE.” Pointing out that the monument was essentially razed to the ground, he said that great architectural skills would be required for the reconstruction, and UNESCO — the cultural arm of the UN — would need to be involved.

“There have been efforts since the liberation of Mosul to clean the mosque of explosive devices, remove rubble, document the destruction and collect the damaged authentic relics. The area was cordoned off to prevent the loss of the remaining relics from the minaret and the mosque,” Abed Rabbo added.

Mosul Mayor Zuhair Muhssein al-Araji told Al-Monitor via phone that the reconstruction plan was developed following discussions and meetings with UNESCO. These meetings have taken up costs and conducted feasibility studies. He said he expected the construction to take at least four years.

“The implementation process is likely to take a long time, as it is a large area. Given its great historical importance, the work needs to be meticulous. We need to study the available historical data so it can be restored to its original architecture,” Araji added.

According to professor of modern history at Mosul University Ibrahim al-Allaf, Nur al-Din al-Zanki — who ruled Mosul — “ordered the building of the mosque [and its minaret] in A.D. 1172.”

Allaf said the mosque had been damaged many times in its history. “The Iraqi Department of Antiquities dismantled and rebuilt the mosque in 1942 as part of a renovation campaign,” Allaf told Al-Monitor. “Al-Hadba minaret is the only remaining feature of the original building of the mosque. Due to its historical value, the minaret has been printed on Iraqi banknotes.”

Leafing through the documents he held on the minaret, Allaf said of its structure: “The minaret was 55 meters high [although there are different accounts of its height], while the mosque area is about 6,000 square meters. The minaret’s base is large, and it features Islamic decorations on its four facades. The building of the entire mosque cost at the time 60,000 dinars of gold.”

Louise Haxthausen, the UNESCO director for Iraq, said at the press conference April 23 that the “reconstruction of the minaret is an ambitious project that carries major symbolism for the liberation of Mosul.”

The head of Iraq’s Parliamentary Committee on Media and Culture, Maysoon al-Damluji, who is from Mosul, told Al-Monitor that the National Authority for Antiquities and Heritage will be involved in the restoration, and that she hoped archaeologists and architects from Mosul would be involved.

“The reconstruction project will not only address the physical and structural aspects of the building, but also highlight the cultural and artistic heritage such as the decorations, ornaments, inscriptions and writings,” Damluji said. She urged the authorities to be careful “not to damage the remaining relics during the removal of rubble and the works on the site.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed Kassem al-Juma, a retired professor from the University of Mosul and a UNESCO Islamic monuments and archaeology expert based in Mosul, told Al-Monitor, “No matter how meticulous and careful the work to restore the relics is, the restored building will not bear the same value of the original that was blown up by IS.”

“The minaret and the mosque were characterized by fine technical details such as the marble pillars of the praying room, the cubic crowns, the strip engraved with words from the Quranic verses, as well as the mosque’s mihrab ornamented with arabesque decorations carved on marble,” Juma added.

He said, “The summer prayer mihrab (the outdoor niche in the wall where the imam stands to conduct prayers) is made of marble. It is currently at the National Museum in Baghdad.”

Juma accompanied the UNESCO delegation that toured the site before the launch of the project. “I keep all the documents, blueprints and drawings of the mosque with all its parts, the architectural details, measurements and maps of the original locations,” he said.

“I worked for a full year in a field survey of the minaret and the mosque before IS entered Mosul in 2014. I documented the details of the mosque and the ceramic construction units with more than 500 sketches and technical drawings,” Juma said, adding, “The mosque has great moral, social and religious significance, as it has been in the past … the place to hold meetings and gatherings for religious and official public events.”

(Picture Credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Kuwaiti Investor plans $58m Project in Basra

By John Lee.

A Kuwaiti businessman is reportedly planning to grow 100,000 date palms and build a nature reserve complete with ostriches and deer in southern Badia, 150 km from the city of Basra.

According to Reuters, Abdul-Aziz al-Babtain is investing $58 million in the project, which will see the palms grown over the next five to six years.

More here from Reuters.

(Source: Reuters)

US in ‘Wait and See’ Position After Iraq Election

The victory of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s party in Iraq’s recent election has put the United States in a wait-and-see position, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told reporters yesterday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The secretary was in Colorado to preside at the change-of-command ceremony for North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command.

“History tells us that all wars eventually end, and the decisions you take following a war — comparing the United States leadership after World War II, versus what came out of Versailles after World War I — can set the conditions for the future,” the secretary said, adding that in this case, the United States must first see who is going to be the prime minister, because no party or coalition won enough to govern Iraq on its own.

After World War II

“First, all wars eventually come to an end. By 1948, ’49, after the vicious World War II, the Pacific Island Campaign was as vicious a fighting between two nations that’s ever been in history,” Mattis said. “We all know what Germany did during World War II with death camps [and] with invasions across Europe.”

And yet, by 1948 and 1949, he said, “we were standing up NATO to defend Western Europe, and we were working with Germany.”

“The Marshall Plan was underway,” Mattis said. “We were [also] working with Japan.” Germany and Japan now are U.S. treaty allies, he noted.

Mattis pointed out that despite the rout of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, some terrorists remain in Iraq. “But it was interesting, wasn’t it, that in the midst of everything going on next door in Syria, having recently destroyed the ISIS strongholds in Iraq – they are still isolated cells of them, of course,” the secretary said.

A Responsive Government

The secretary reiterated the United States will have to see whether the new Iraqi leaders form a responsive government.

Mattis noted the Marshall Plan was met with initial skepticism.

“People in 1944 were told basically in five years we’ll be serving alongside German troops and sending locomotives and railroad tracks to Germany,” he said. “We would have laughed in your face, said that’s not going to happen; this is a war to the death. Damn near lost.”

But that’s exactly what we did, he noted.

“So wars rub the veneer off all of us and leave the passions really exposed, and now it’s time for strategic thinking, for looking to the future, and determining how the Iraqi people can dictate their future,” the secretary said, “not external threats from Iran, not money from Iran, not internal threats from ISIS or other terrorists.

“This is between our two governments, and we’ll see what government they end up with,” Mattis said. “So we’ll play that forward. It’s too early to tell.”

(Source: US Dept of Defense)