Construction & Engineering In Iraq


KRG Opens New Section of Erbil Ring Road

By John Lee.

A new section of Erbil’s largest road was reportedly opened on Monday.

The five-kilometer stretch of the “120 Meter Road” will alleviate heavy traffic on the Erbil-Pirmam and Erbil-Koya roads, according to a report from Rudaw.

The Hemn Group has pledged to finish the next phase of the project near the Kirkuk road and another segment serving the Kirkuk-Mosul road by the end of the year, witht the entire road expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

More here from Rudaw.

(Source: Rudaw)

$30bn Pledged to Iraq – Time to Act!

Following the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this week, Iraq has so far received pledges of financing totalling around $30 billion to help with rebuilding the country after the devastating war against the Islamic State group.

While this is well short of the $88 billion in funding estimated to be needed, it is still a very significant boost for the country’s reconstruction programme, and will greatly improve the quality of life for millions of Iraqis.

Commenting on the outcome, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said:

After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure.

“A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.

Many readers of Iraq Business News will play key roles in this reconstruction effort, and we would like to wish them every success in this important work.

To promote your business to the Iraqi market, please contact our sales manager, David Jeffries: david.jeffries@iraq-businessnews.com, +44 20 8150 5293.

US EXIM agrees $3bn Iraq Financing

On Tuesday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iraq’s Ministry of Finance aimed at rebuilding Iraq and enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

EXIM’s Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel signed the MOU today with Iraq’s Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Maher Hammad Johan at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq held at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also attended. The signing was part of a U.S. diplomatic mission from February 11-16 being led by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Jordan, Turkey, Beirut, Lebanon, Egypt, and Kuwait.

“This MOU signals that American workers want to be part of the rebuilding effort in Iraq,” said Acting Vice Chairman Scott Schloegel. “We anticipate that the financing following from this agreement will support scores of jobs across the United States over the coming years.”

Under the MOU, EXIM and Iraq’s Ministry of Finance agreed to identify potential projects in Iraq for procurement of goods manufactured in the United States and services produced by American workers. Areas for collaboration and business development include infrastructure, rail and road transportation, aircraft, energy, health care, and security, among others.

EXIM has agreed to facilitate short- and medium-term financing of U.S. exports to Iraqi state-owned enterprises up to a total of $3 billion in aggregate.

Up to $1 billion of this financing may be allocated to eligible short-term commodity transactions. Access to EXIM financing is subject to the bank’s approval for each individual transaction and must comply with the terms for EXIM’s financing.

(Source: EXIM)

UN launches Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme today at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq.

The two-year Recovery and Resilience Programme is designed to fast-track the social dimensions of reconstruction and help ensure that people see tangible improvements in their daily lives at the start of the reconstruction process, rather than waiting years to benefit from large-scale infrastructure projects and structural reforms.

“Iraq surmounted an incredible challenge in its defeat of ISIL, but many challenges still remain,” said the UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “After the last three days in Kuwait, I feel hope for a new Iraq that is open for business and prepared to face the next challenge of rebuilding communities while reconstructing schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and public infrastructure. A prosperous Iraq will be a pillar for development and stability in the region.”

The RRP focuses on urgent priorities – helping people who have suffered the most, revitalizing the areas at the highest risk of return to violence, and advancing broad political participation and inclusive social harmony.

“Reconstruction is not just about rebuilding infrastructure-it’s about improving people’s lives,” said United Nations’ Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande.

The RRP includes nine components. Three will be implemented in high priority communities where violent extremism may possibly emerge unless steps are taken to restore community trust, build confidence in the Government and open economic opportunities. Six of the components are national in scope.

These components focus on decentralizing basic services, promoting sustainable returns, providing support to survivors, accelerating community reconciliation and expanding political and social participation.

“Together with community and tribal reconciliation, national political settlement and accord, based on the principle of citizenship with equal rights, obligations, justice and opportunities for all, is critically important for a future stable, united and prosperous Iraq,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ján Kubiš.

The UN is seeking USD 482 million for the first year of the RRP and an additional USD 568 million to help stabilize high-risk areas. Separately, partners are seeking USD 569 million to provide life-saving assistance to 3.4 million highly vulnerable people across Iraq through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Download the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme here in English, and here in Arabic.

(Source: UN)

Video: Donors pledge more than $300m to Iraq

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

Iraq is hoping for more concrete pledges from international donors on the second day of a conference on rebuilding cities and infrastructure shattered by the conflict with ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

On Monday, non-governmental organisations pledged more than $300 million to the reconstruction effort, far short of the $100 billion the government says it needs.

Al Jazeera‘s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Video: Iraq seeks $100bn for Post-IS Reconstruction

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

Iraq is hoping to raise billions of dollars at a donor conference starting on Monday in Kuwait – to finance the reconstruction after its campaign against ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS).

It is estimated that $100bn is needed for the reconstruction.

Large parts of Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, are still in ruins, more than six months after it was retaken by the government.

Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan reports from Kuwait:

Investments in Health can contribute to Peace Dividends

In the lead-up to the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on the international community to further invest in Iraq’s devastated health sector.

In Anbar, Ninewa, Salah Al Din, and Kirkuk, 14 hospitals and more than 170 health facilities were damaged or destroyed in the three-year conflict. Water and power systems that health facilities depend on to function also need urgent repair.

Beyond physical damage, the crisis caused unimaginable mental distress for millions of people, left tens of thousands of Iraqis with severe physical injuries, disrupted the routine vaccination of millions of children, decreased reproductive health services to girls and women of child-bearing age, halted the supply of essential medicines and medical equipment, and interrupted the medical education for hundreds of thousands of aspiring medical workers.

“More than 2.4 million Iraqis are still displaced and need direct health care, and more than 3.3 million Iraqis who have returned home have gone back to areas where the health system needs to be almost entirely rebuilt,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Iraq. “Across the country, millions of Iraqis are in the process of rebuilding their shattered lives and WHO is keen on supporting the governmental health authorities to provide them with appropriate and dignified health care services.”

WHO has worked with health partners to support the Government of Iraq in providing emergency health services and strengthening the health care system to ensure vulnerable persons have access to quality health care. In 2017, partners including various departments of health provided over 6 million medical consultations across Iraq.

This was made possible by establishing and supporting at least 29 static health clinics in displacement camps and outreach through more than 64 mobile medical clinics. Notably, life-saving emergency health services were provided to more than 24,000 people through five field hospitals close to the front-lines in Mosul, Hawija and Al-Qaim.

To protect current humanitarian gains as well as reduce vulnerabilities, further investments in health are urgently needed. Support to rebuild health systems, provision of life saving medicines and upgrading medical technologies will ensure a responsive health care system.

WHO and health partners are appealing for firm commitments to Iraq’s health care system which will enable peaceful, dignified and safe returns as well as revitalization of new accessible areas.

(Source: UNAMI)

US Ambassador, UNDP visit the Ninewa Plains

Ambassador Silliman and Lise Grande of UNDP Visit the Ninewa Plains

Ambassador of the United States to Iraq Douglas Silliman joined the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and UNDP Resident Representative Lise Grande for a visit to several sites in the Ninewa Plains to highlight the U.S.-UN partnership in supporting the Iraqi government’s efforts to help its most vulnerable people return home following the liberation of their territory from ISIS.

During his visit to the historically Christian towns of Al Hamdaniya and Karamless, home to Syriac Catholic and Chaldean Catholic communities respectively, Ambassador Silliman reaffirmed the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS).

Since 2015, the United States has provided $190.3 million to the FFS, which includes a recent $75 million contribution, portions of which the United States has specifically set aside for projects in the Ninewa Plains.  The United States also pledged an additional $75 million contribution for 2018.

The U.S. government also plans to fund up to $39 million to non-governmental and private organizations to help stabilize ethnic and religious minority communities in the Ninewa Plains and western Ninewa, which will bring our total funding for stabilization activities up to $300 million.

Separately, the United States has contributed more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance since 2014 for conflict-affected Iraqis who were displaced by the ISIS threat.

“We are committed to supporting UNDP stabilization projects like these until all displaced Iraqis can return to their liberated, stabilized areas,” said Ambassador Silliman at the reopening of the Al Hamdaniya Hospital, which was looted and vandalized during the ISIS occupation before its initial rehabilitation by UNDP.  The U.S. government recently approved $2.6 million to fund UNDP’s further rehabilitation of the hospital and the purchase of necessary medical equipment.  The Ambassador added, “As I look at this facility, I see it as a symbol of hope that more peaceful and prosperous days lie ahead for the people of this community.”

UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq Lise Grande said, We are very grateful for the contribution of the U.S. government.  UNDP is currently implementing more than 1,000 projects across Ninewa Governorate.  Progress is tangible; electricity grids are starting to work, water systems are being repaired, schools are opening, health centers are functioning and people are getting back to work.  With continued support, we can accelerate this critical work and help bring hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis back home.”

The visit also included meetings with Syriac Catholic and Chaldean Catholic religious leaders and a tour of the Karamless primary health care center, another UNDP stabilization project that the United States will be partially funding.

The United States is committed to ensuring that its humanitarian assistance and stabilization funding is reaching Iraq’s most vulnerable communities, including the ethnic and religious minorities who suffered under ISIS occupation.  With support from the U.S. government and other international donors, the United Nations’ stabilization projects are helping displaced Iraqis from all backgrounds rebuild their homes and communities in the liberated areas.

(Source: U.S. Embassy in Iraq)

Legal Assistance for Vulnerable Households in Mosul

UN-Habitat provided legal assistance to 1,015 vulnerable households in Mosul to address their housing, land and property rights claims

UN-Habitat in collaboration with its implementing partner, the local NGO Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid, concluded the activities funded by the 2017 Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund to address housing, land and property rights (HLP) of vulnerable people in Mosul.

Under this project, UN-Habitat assessed ten neighbourhoods in East Mosul where many displaced persons from the west of the city have settled. The surveys covered 3,083 houses, reaching a total of 19,261 individuals, and aimed to identify HLP incidents and needs of vulnerable households in East Mosul.

Accordingly, 61% of the surveyed households reported that their house was partially or fully destroyed, while more than 33% had no legal occupancy/ownership documents linked to their current residence.

As such, UN-Habitat undertook an information dissemination and awareness raising campaign related to households’ HLP rights and available redress mechanisms through the distribution of leaflets, as well as awareness raising sessions with beneficiaries seeking information on HLP.

Among those, seven sessions were conducted exclusively for females to provide them with a safe and comfortable space to raise their issues and concerns. Mahdia Hamed Ismail, highlighted how she benefited from the help:

“My house was flattened in East Mosul by the war. We were sitting on the floor and we still are as we neither filed nor received any compensation. UN-Habitat’s legal partners visited my house, took my information, helped me fill in the compensation application, and filed the claim in court on my behalf. I would like to thank them for keeping us in mind, and for making the effort to support us.”

As a result of the strong commitment and work ethic of the community representatives (Mukhtars), as well as other local authorities, including the Mosul court, the project was able to provide legal assistance on lease and ownership issues to 1,015 vulnerable families, 29% of which were female-headed households.

The majority of the households who have been impacted by the previous hostilities are in need of support with filing their claims at court. HLP issues are a major challenge for returnees and households in areas previously controlled by ISIL, and can only be solved by legal representation in courts, and/or community-based land mitigation mechanisms.

The authorities in Mosul face many challenges in responding to the high number of claims related to HLP violations, which are a major driving force of conflict and social tension. The cost of not promptly addressing these issues will be too much to bear in the future.

In this regard, the housing registration directorate will be re-established and functioning in Hay Al-Zuhur on 17 February 2018, which marks a significant step in facilitating the production/restoration of occupancy, rental, or ownership documents. UN-Habitat is committed to support the efforts of the authorities and increase its HLP interventions in Mosul, and other areas in Iraq in 2018.

(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)