Iraq Transportation News


New Airline Launched in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Fly Erbil, Iraq’s only Kurdish airline, successfully completed its first scheduled flight on Monday.

The plane set off from Erbil International Airport en route to Stockholm in Sweden.

The airline’s administrative director Ahmad Jamal told AFP that Fly Erbil currently has three planes and plans to increase to 10 in the future.

Other destination served include Gothenburg (Sweden), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Birmingham (UK), Kiev (Ukraine) and Nuremberg (Germany).

(Sources: AFP, Fly Erbil)

New Airline Launched in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

Fly Erbil, Iraq’s only Kurdish airline, successfully completed its first scheduled flight on Monday.

The plane set off from Erbil International Airport en route to Stockholm in Sweden.

The airline’s administrative director Ahmad Jamal told AFP that Fly Erbil currently has three planes and plans to increase to 10 in the future.

Other destination served include Gothenburg (Sweden), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Birmingham (UK), Kiev (Ukraine) and Nuremberg (Germany).

(Sources: AFP, Fly Erbil)

Syria, Iraq Consider Re-Opening Border

By John Lee.

Iraq and Syria are said to be considering the possibility of reopening their border for the first time in several years.

Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister Walid al-Moallem sent a letter to his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari hoping to increase efforts to reopen the border crossing connectinga the Syrian city of Albukamal and the Iraqi city of Al-Qa’im [Qaim].

(Source: AINA)

Aqaba offers “New Gateway” to Iraq

New pre-arrival clearance protocols and reduced terminal handling charges for containers in transit, mean that Jordan’s deep-water Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), located on the Red Sea, is now a realistic alternative maritime gateway for Iraq-bound cargo, APM Terminals said in its press release.

Containers imported into Iraq will no longer have to be trans-loaded onto new trucks as they cross the Jordanian/Iraqi border.

“The Aqaba Container Terminal has been working hard over the years to develop a competitive gateway to Iraq,” says ACT Managing Director Steven Yoogalingam. “This will enhance the already strong Iraqi port system and gives the business communities of both countries a fantastic transportation system to better support economic development in the region.”

Ideally located, the ACT is 550km – or 36 hours by road – from the Iraqi border town of Traibil and 48 hours from Baghdad. This development comes as the volume of Iraqi imports experience rapid growth – 86% last year alone.

The ACT is a joint venture between ADC, the Jordanian Government’s development arm for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, and APM Terminals, which manages the facility. It is the second–busiest container facility on the Red Sea after Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).

A terminal expansion project completed in 2013 added 460 meters to the existing quay to create a total length of 1 km and increased the annual container throughput capacity to 1.3 million TEUs.

Iraqi imports grew by 86% in 2017 to $36.5 billion – the leading sources being China, Turkey, Iran, South Korea and the United States, with food, medicine and manufactured goods the primary products.

(Source: APM Terminals)

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)

Saddam’s Superyacht to become Sailors’ Hotel

By John Lee.

The 82-meter yacht built for Saddam Hussein in 1981 is to be turned into a hotel for the pilots who guide shipping in and out of the port of Basra.

The Iraqi government re-gained posession of the ‘Basrah Breeze‘ in 2010 following a legal battle in the French courts.

It subsequently failed to find a buyer at the $30-million price tag, and Reuters reports that for the past two years the vessel has served Basra University, hosting researchers on trips to study marine life.

More here, including pictures, from Reuters.

(Source: Reuters)

Colombo Dockyard to Build Two Vessels for Iraq

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC) has successfully secured a contract with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) of Japan to build two vessels; Pilot Station Vessel and Buoy Tender Vessel, for General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI).

TTC and GCPI signed the Prime Contract on 27th April 2018 in Dubai. Subsequent to the signing of the Prime Contract, TTC signed the Sub Contract Agreement with CDPLC as TTC’s preferred Shipyard for the construction of these vessels on 2nd May 2018 in Japan.

TTC is a trading and investing company which is also a group company of TOYOTA. By recognizing the potential of CDPLC, TTC decided to collaborate with CDPLC for this project to compete and submit bid proposals in response to a tender floated by GCPI in July 2017.

After the selection of the Bid proposal submitted by TTC in collaboration with CDPLC, there were contract negotiation meetings in Basrah, Iraq and in Colombo, Sri Lanka. These negotiations and discussions were able to strengthen the relationship between the parties to enter in to a successful contract.

Both the Pilot Station Vessel and the Buoy Tender Vessel will be constructed using modern technology and will be in accordance with latest rules and regulations of the maritime industry. Both vessels will be classed to Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK).

The Pilot Station Vessel is a catamaran type vessel which will be used to transport of pilots and provisions, to provide pilots with accommodation services and to provide station and necessary support for pilot boats.

This is a 50m length vessel with a breadth of 18m and a depth of 6.1m. The vessel is driven by two powerful diesel engine and shall develop a speed of 14 knots. The vessel shall be fully air-conditioned and shall provide accommodation for 47 persons.

The Buoy Tender Vessel is designed to be used to retrieve and launch marine navigation buoys, to provide repair and maintenance to marine navigation buoy, to transport marine navigation buoys and/or spare parts and to transport general cargo.

This is a 60m length vessel with a breadth of 12m breadth and a depth of 4.6m. The vessel is driven by twin diesel engines and is capable of achieving a speed of 12 knots. The vessel also shall be equipped with a Crane with a lifting capacity of 22 tons. This vessel too provides fully air conditioned living quarters for its complement of 29 persons.

The two vessels are to be delivered in Iraq in April 2020.

(Source: Colombo Dockyard)

Were Duty Free Contracts Illegally Granted?

Iraq Business News has learned of claims that Iraq’s anti-corruption bodies are investigating the contract to operate the duty-free shops at Baghdad and Basra airports.

Early last year we reported that the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) and the Ministry of Transport had extended Iraq Duty Free‘s exclusive contract at the airports by ten years to 4th March 2029; the company has been running the stores since 2004.

According to a report from Al-Ahad TV, the total duration of the contract, and fact that it was extended two years before it was due to expire, are in breach of Iraqi law.

It goes on to state that Iraq Duty Free’s parent company, Financial Links, is owned by UK-citizen Ahmed Sarchil Kazzaz, who has a conviction for fraud in the United States in relation to the payment of bribes to help win contracts in Iraq.

IBN reported that Kazzaz and his business, Leadstay, were charged in 2012; he subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and a substantial fine. This conviction would normally preclude contracting with any Iraqi government entity.

Iraq Duty Free has not yet responded to IBN’s request to comment.

(Picture: Duty free, from asiandelight/Shutterstock)

Milaha Launches Qatar-Iraq Container Service

Milaha Launches First Ever Container Feeder Service Between Qatar and Iraq

Milaha, a Qatar-based maritime transport and logistics conglomerate, has announced the launch of a direct container feeder service between Qatar and Iraq.

The new service, which will be an expansion of the existing Qatar-Kuwait service that the company launched last year, will follow a Hamad Port-Umm Qasr (Iraq)-Shuwaikh (Kuwait)-Hamad Port rotation, and will be initially served by one vessel with a 1,015 TEU capacity and 110 reefer plugs.

The service will have a transit time of 2 days, making it particularly ideal for dry and refrigerated food stuff, consumer electronics, and construction materials, among other cargo. The first vessel will depart from Hamad Port on 7 May 2018 and reach at Umm Qasr Port on 9 May 2018.

Commenting on the launch of the new service, Milaha’s President and CEO Mr. Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai said:

“There has been excellent demand on the Qatar-Kuwait service that we launched last year, and we have been looking at ways to further expand that service to give our Iraqi clients and partners more convenience through greater port coverage and reduced transit times. This new service will contribute to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and will also help boost the growing trade and economic relations between Qatar and Iraq.”

(Source: Milaha)