Iraq Transportation News


Jordanian Ministers push for Truck Entry to Iraq

By John Lee.

Jordan’s Minister of Municipalities, Walid Al-Masri, and Minister of Industry and Trade, Yarub Al-Qudah, have met representatives of the chambers of industry and commerce and members of the Jordan Truck Owners and Custom Clearance Associations to discuss arrangements for the entry of Jordanian trucks to Iraq.

According to a report from Petra, they agreed to organise the crossing of Jordanian trucks to Iraq with the concerned Jordanian and Iraqi authorities.

(Source: Petra)

Abadi Reluctant to Lift Embargo on Kurdish Airports

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation in the Kurdistan Region reiterated that the Ministry has not received any formal approval from Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi to lift the ban on international flights from the airports in the region.

Asked whether Baghdad was trying to delay resolving the issue with Erbil, Omed Mohammed said that he has no knowledge why the Federal government has not lifted the ban on the airports after the region had shown commitment to all of the conditions introduced by Iraq.

According to the Kurdish official, the Kurdish Regional Government has already accepted all of the conditions made by the Federal government, but there was no sign from Baghdad’s side to end the punitive measures imposed on the region.

(Source: GardaWorld)

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)

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)

Road Projects available for Investment

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included several road 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:

Rehabilitation and development of the existing roads

Construction of highways next to the existing ones (on the sideways). Estimated cost for the new highways is $3m/km, while rehabilitation cost for the existing ones is $1m/km (one third of the new one cost). Estimated cost to add 2 pathways to each side of the road is $2m/km, including:

  • Rehabilitation and development of the 580km Baghdad–Basra highway
  • Rehabilitation and development of the 570km Baghdad-Mosul-Rabeea-Feshkhaboor highway
  • Rehabilitation and development of the 180km Baghdad-Baquba-Iranian border (Al Munthiriya) highway
  • Construction of the 250km Baghdad-Kirkuk highway

Sub roads (Secondary roads)

  • Rehabilitation of Bismaya-Baghdad-Muhamed Al Qasimhighway, 25km
  • Building the Dora-Yousfiya road and connecting the two –story bridge with Al Dora highway Baghdad-Basra 14km
  • Building Al Madaeen Bridge (connecting Baghdad -Kut-Bismaya road to Baghdad-Basra highway passing through Madaeen) 21 km

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

NIC Announces 157 Major Strategic Projects in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has just announced the 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.

The 157 large- and medium-sized projects span all sectors of the Iraqi economy, including oil and gas, transport, housing, agriculture and education.

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)

Border Crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan Reopen

Iran’s two border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan region have resumed their operations following an announcement by the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the director general of the Interior Ministry’s border affairs department said.

Shahriar Heidari said that according to the interior minister, the Parviz Khan border crossing in Iran’s Kermanshah province and the Haj Omran (Tamarchin) border crossing in Iran’s West Azerbaijan reopened on Tuesday.

He said the reopening of the borders came after an announcement by the SNSC and the resumption of activities of diplomatic and security organizations in the districts.

Iran shut its common frontier with the semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region at the request of Baghdad after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a referendum to secede from the Arab country in September.

People in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted for independence on September 25 in a controversial referendum, amid rising tensions and international opposition.

The referendum set off a chain of events, culminating in a military confrontation between Erbil and Baghdad.

Iraqi government forces launched a major operation in Kirkuk on October 16 and took control of its oil fields and a strategic military base without any armed clashes.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iraqi Airspace Flight Restrictions Relaxed

By John Lee.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reduced its flight restrictions in Iraqi airspace, though some restrictions will remain in place.

It had previously prohibited all US civilian flight operations over the country due to risks relating to the armed conflict with the Islamic State group.

Rudaw quotes a statement from Baghdad International Airport as saying that the announcement “means that global airlines can go over Iraqi airspace wherever they want.

The FAA statement can be viewed here.

(Sources: Govdelivery, Rudaw)

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)