Japan


MHPS to Upgrade Hartha Power Station

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity has reportedly awarded a contract to Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) to refurbish the Unit 1 of the Hartha thermal power station (pictured) in Basra province.

According to Energy Business Review, the power station is claimed to account for approximately 25 percent of Basra’s total power generation capacity.

It’s original equipment was developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Funding will be provided by Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Mitsubishi Electric will be responsible for the generator-related work, while the Turkey’s Gama Power System will be responsible for installation and other work.

The work is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

(Source: Energy Business Review)

Japanese Firm Buys Shell’s Stake in West Qurna 1

By John Lee.

Japan’s Itochu has reportedly bought Shell‘s 20 percent stake in the West Qurna 1 oilfield.

Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, the head of state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC), told Reuters that the oil ministry discussed the required financial investments and operations at the field with Itochu, and approved the deal.

West Qurna 1, operated by ExxonMobil, currently produces around 405,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The deal comes as Shell is also preparing to exit the Majnoon oilfield, handing it over to the BOC by the end of June 2018.

(Source: Reuters)

Lukoil signs Contract for Exploration at Block 10

Russia’s Lukoil has signed contracts with the state-owned Iraqi Oil Exploration Company to carry out seismic surveys at the Eridu field in Block 10, and also at Block 10’s southern and central parts, previously not part of the survey.

The scope of appraisal works at Eridu field includes a 3D seismic survey of 983 square kilometers to update the extension of the field and its geological structure.

At Block 10, 2D seismic acquisition of the southern and central parts is planned to be accomplished over an area of 3,500 linear kilometers to ensure the mapping of targets for prospect drilling.

The approved geological exploration plan for Eridu field envisages the drilling of additional appraisal wells on a mid-term horizon.​

Block 10, covering 5,600 square kilometers, is located in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Muthanna, 120 kilometers west of Basra. The interests in the project are: Lukoil – 60% (operator), Inpex Corporation (Japan) – 40%.

The Iraqi party to the agreement is represented by the state-owned South Oil Company (SOC).

The drilling of the first exploration well, Eridu-1, in February of 2017 led to the discovery of a major oilfield. Preliminary data indicate it is the most significant discovery in Iraq for the past 20 years.

The drilling of the second and third wells confirmed the field’s earlier assumed geological model.Block 10, covering 5,600 square kilometers, is located in the governorates of Dhi Qar and Muthanna, 120 kilometers west of Basra.

(Source: Lukoil)

Japanese Company considers Gas Pipeline and Petchem Plant

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly contracted Japan’s Toyo Engineering to help build a gas pipeline to Kuwait and a petrochemical plant as Baghdad.

According to a report from Reuters, the move will help Iraq to reduce flaring and finish paying the reparations owed to Kuwait for the invasion in 1990.

The project would allow Kuwait to reduce its dependency on Qatar as a supplier of gas; deliveries could begin as early as 2019.

It would also deal a blow to Shell, which aimed to be the dominant gas player in Iraq before relations with Baghdad soured following it’s planned exit from the Majnoon oil project.

Toyo told Reuters that talks are ongoing and a final decision has not yet been made.

(Source: Reuters)

$400m for Reconstruction of Mosul and Newly Liberated Areas

The World Bank has approved a US$400 million financial assistance package today to support the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of priority infrastructure to restore delivery of public services in areas of Iraq newly liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The package represents an additional financing to the Iraq Emergency Operation for Development Project (US$350 million), approved back in July 2015 and already underway in seven cities in Diyala and Salah Ad-Din governorates.

The additional financing will allow the geographic scale-up of existing project activities to additional cities liberated from ISIS in the Salah Ad-Din and Diyala governorates, as well as in the governorates of Anbar (including Ramadi), Kirkuk, Ninawah (including Mosul) and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG’s) governorate of Dohuk.

Similarly, implementation responsibilities will also expand to subnational governments in addition to the central government institutions.

Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director, said:

“The international community has expressed its commitment to support the urgent need for the Government-led reconstruction of Mosul and other recently liberated cities. The World Bank is committed to working with Iraqi authorities to ensure that this much-needed reconstruction takes place in a sustainable, inclusive and equitable manner to foster long term development and create opportunities for everyone.”

The current project activities span over five primary sectors: water and sanitation, electricity, health, transport and municipal services. The additional financing will continue to support these sectors, as well as address pressing education, agriculture/irrigation and urban service delivery needs of communities in liberated areas.

It will also support the restoration and preservation of key cultural heritage assets especially in the Old City of Mosul. But beyond the physical repair, emphasis will be given to improving the quality of education for boys and girls, and increasing the employment of women, youth as well as the poor in both urban and rural areas.

The additional financing will also support the Government of Iraq in attracting private sector participation in reconstruction efforts. To this effect, studies will be carried out to assess the feasibility of public private partnerships in the reconstruction, operation and maintenance of Mosul airport, which was severely damaged during the liberation of Mosul.

Japan Lends $502m to Iraq for Development

JICA to Support Reconstruction in Power Supply and Iraqi Government’s Fiscal Reforms: Signing of Two Japanese ODA Loan Agreements for Iraq

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Iraqi Government have signed two loan agreements at Ministry of Finance in Baghdad.

These two ODA (Official Development Assistance) loans, amounting to JPY 57,220 million (approximately USD 502 million) in total, will be used for Phase 3 of the Electricity Sector Reconstruction Project and the Fiscal Reform Development Policy Loan (II).

The loan agreements were signed by Dr. Maher Hammad Johan, Acting Deputy Minister of Finance and Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative of JICA Iraq Office, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Fumio Iwai, Japanese Ambassador to Iraq.  These concessional ODA loans aim to support the Government of Iraq and Iraqi people in efforts to reconstruct the country with significant challenges.

The first loan, amounting to JPY 27,220 million (approx. USD 239 million), is used for the Electricity Sector Reconstruction Project (Phase 3).  The Ministry of Electricity implements the project which reconstructs and develops fixed and mobile substations in conflict-affected Anbar as well as Baghdad and surrounding areas.  The project is expected to contribute to restoration and stabilization of electricity supply to millions of people in conflict-affected areas.  Prior to this Phase 3 project, JICA is already funding preceding Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects in various governorates.

The second loan, Fiscal Reform Development Policy Loan (II) amounting to JPY 30,000 million (approx. USD 263 million), supports the budget of the Government of Iraq with urgent needs for enormous financial resources.  It aims to promote on-going administrative and financial reforms of the Government through (i) expenditure rationalization, (ii) energy efficiency and (iii) transparency and governance of state-owned enterprises.  This is a part of phased co-financing supports with the World Bank and other partners since 2016.  The previous phase of this loan, of which amount is JPY 25,000 million (approx. USD 219 million), was already fully disbursed in June 2016.  JICA is also implementing technical cooperation for strengthening debt management capacity of the Iraqi government officials, which is required under the reform program.

Both loans are very concessional with the interest rate of JPY LIBOR+0.05% and the repayment period of 15 years including 5-year grace period.

JICA is a development assistance agency under Japanese Government and provides financial and technical cooperation for developing countries.  Since 2003, it has provided assistances for Iraq through ODA loans which amount to JPY 683 billion (equivalent to USD 6.0 billion) and technical cooperation including training programs in which more than 8,000 Iraqi officials have participated. JICA supports Iraq’s efforts for urgent reconstruction, stabilization of people’s daily lives and sustained socio-economic development of the country.

(Source: JICA)

Japan Lends $502m to Iraq for Development

JICA to Support Reconstruction in Power Supply and Iraqi Government’s Fiscal Reforms: Signing of Two Japanese ODA Loan Agreements for Iraq

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Iraqi Government have signed two loan agreements at Ministry of Finance in Baghdad.

These two ODA (Official Development Assistance) loans, amounting to JPY 57,220 million (approximately USD 502 million) in total, will be used for Phase 3 of the Electricity Sector Reconstruction Project and the Fiscal Reform Development Policy Loan (II).

The loan agreements were signed by Dr. Maher Hammad Johan, Acting Deputy Minister of Finance and Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative of JICA Iraq Office, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Fumio Iwai, Japanese Ambassador to Iraq.  These concessional ODA loans aim to support the Government of Iraq and Iraqi people in efforts to reconstruct the country with significant challenges.

The first loan, amounting to JPY 27,220 million (approx. USD 239 million), is used for the Electricity Sector Reconstruction Project (Phase 3).  The Ministry of Electricity implements the project which reconstructs and develops fixed and mobile substations in conflict-affected Anbar as well as Baghdad and surrounding areas.  The project is expected to contribute to restoration and stabilization of electricity supply to millions of people in conflict-affected areas.  Prior to this Phase 3 project, JICA is already funding preceding Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects in various governorates.

The second loan, Fiscal Reform Development Policy Loan (II) amounting to JPY 30,000 million (approx. USD 263 million), supports the budget of the Government of Iraq with urgent needs for enormous financial resources.  It aims to promote on-going administrative and financial reforms of the Government through (i) expenditure rationalization, (ii) energy efficiency and (iii) transparency and governance of state-owned enterprises.  This is a part of phased co-financing supports with the World Bank and other partners since 2016.  The previous phase of this loan, of which amount is JPY 25,000 million (approx. USD 219 million), was already fully disbursed in June 2016.  JICA is also implementing technical cooperation for strengthening debt management capacity of the Iraqi government officials, which is required under the reform program.

Both loans are very concessional with the interest rate of JPY LIBOR+0.05% and the repayment period of 15 years including 5-year grace period.

JICA is a development assistance agency under Japanese Government and provides financial and technical cooperation for developing countries.  Since 2003, it has provided assistances for Iraq through ODA loans which amount to JPY 683 billion (equivalent to USD 6.0 billion) and technical cooperation including training programs in which more than 8,000 Iraqi officials have participated. JICA supports Iraq’s efforts for urgent reconstruction, stabilization of people’s daily lives and sustained socio-economic development of the country.

(Source: JICA)

National Contingency Plan to Tackle Oil Spills

Iraqi Government to Launch a National Contingency Plan to Tackle Oil Spill Incidents

On 22 and 23 October 2017, Ministry of Oil, Ministry of Health and Environment and Ministry of Transport had discussions with the team of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Basra to finalize Iraqi National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) in order to tackle large oil spill accidents both in inland and marine areas.

This comprehensive contingency plan has been formulated, with technical cooperation of JICA, for protecting or minimizing the environmental and social impacts resulted by the oil spill incidents and for satisfying requirements of related international conventions, the regional agreements in the Gulf region, as well as domestic laws and regulations.

The plan systematically integrates individual plans for oil spill response, which were prepared by production sites and regions, in line with a newly-formed national-level policy and strategy. The risk assessments, responsibilities of relevant organizations, commanding and coordinating mechanisms, necessary resources and standard procedures of rapid and effective responses are also incorporated.

Spill of oil and spread of hazardous wastes can harm people’s health and safety, and pollute environment of sea, rivers, land and wetlands. They could also cause not only direct damage to oil businesses like crude oil production and export or oil refinery operations but serious impact on agriculture and port operations.  Iraq, one of the largest oil producing countries in the globe, has many oil fields, related facilities and extensive pipeline networks in inland as well as in coastal areas.

Its gradual increase of oil production and related activities has raised environmental and economic risks of oil spill accidents of the country, which has environmentally-sensitive inland water system, wetlands and marine eco-systems. While coping with potential risks of oil spills caused by facilities’ defects, operational failure and accidents, Iraqi Government has developed this first integrated plan of national countermeasures against possible oil spill incidents.

The cooperation to the formulation of the NOSCP is a part of the two-year project of JICA’s technical cooperation. The project also provided trainings and drills in Japan, Iran and Jordan for officials of Iraqi relevant ministries in order to strengthen their capacities in planning and actual responses on site. The Marine Environment Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), a Bahrain-based international organization with eight member countries in the region, contributed to the training programs as well.

(Source: JICA)

Social and Economic Integration of Iraqi Youth

Social and Economic Integration of Youth Key for a Better Future for Iraq

A new project will promote the social and economic inclusion of about 3,000 conflict-affected Iraqi youth by facilitating their engagement in youth-led community development activities, peacebuilding initiatives and micro-entrepreneurship projects. The Project is financed by a US$2.75 million Grant provided by the Japan social Development Fund (JSDF).

The project agreement was signed today by H.E. Mr. Abdul-Hussein Abtaan, Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports and Ms. Yara Salem, World Bank Iraq Country Manager, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Ja Fumio Iwai, Japanese Ambassador to Iraq.

With one third of the Iraqi population between the ages of 15 and 24, Iraqi youth represent both an opportunity and a challenge for economic development. Youth can bring dynamism and innovation to the any economy, yet if not properly trained and integrated, they may also represent a drain on limited national resources.

“Investing in the youth is key to build a stable and more prosperous future for Iraq. This project will help promote the social and economic inclusion of youth in conflict-affected areas. It will provide them with the skills needed to find better job opportunities and contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq” said Abdul-Hussein Abtaan, Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports during the signing ceremony.

The project is expected to be a powerful engine to promote a culture of tolerance and strengthen social cohesion. Educating youth on the values of peace has become a pressing need, namely considering the waves of violence and displacement witnessed by several areas of the country due to the conflict.

“The World Bank is very pleased to partner with Iraq in supporting youth and their active participation in the economy. This is at the heart of sustainable and inclusive development and in line with the World Bank support plan to Iraq for the coming period” said Ms. Salem, World Bank Iraq Country Manager.

The Project, which builds on the success of a similar initiative implemented in Southern Iraq (Basra, Missan, and Thiqar), aims to support at least 3,000 vulnerable youth in Baghdad, including 50 percent young women and 30 percent IDPs.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, with the help of local non-governmental organizations and service providers to conduct activities under the soft skills training, youth-led community development subprojects and business development trainings.

(Source: United Nations)

Iraq to Invest in Joint Oil Projects with Iran

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) has said an agreement will soon be signed with Iran to jointly invest in two oil fields shared between the two countries.

Last month, Iraq’s Ambassador to Tehran, Rajih al-Mussawi, said his country was considering a plan to cooperate with Iran to develop the Azadegan oil field which the two sides share.

According ot PressTV, Iran discovered the Azadegan field in 1999 in what was the country’s biggest oil find in decades.  It is believed to be connected with Iraq’s supergiant Majnoon oil field.

Japan’s Inpex was contracted to develop the Azadegan project, but later quit in an apparent reaction to US sanctions against Iran.

Shell is reportedly trying to quit the Majnoon project, but has also submitted its technical study plan to Iranian authorities to develop the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields.

(Source: PressTV)