South Korea


Iraqi Air Force receives more Korean Fighter Jets

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Air Force has received another six new T-50 fighter jets under a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

According to previously-released information, Iraq’s T-50 fleet is planned to grow to 24 by early next year.

(Source: Iraqi Air Force)

Korean Support helps Stabilize Newly Liberated Areas

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed partnership agreement today for USD 5M million to support stabilization and recovery in newly liberated areas in Iraq.

Korea’s contribution will be channelled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from ISIL. This is Korea’s fifth contribution since 2015 to FFS.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair essential public infrastructure, boosts the capacity of local government, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

“Since Iraq was declared free from ISIL, significant progress across the country has been made – schools and hospitals have reopened, bridges are functioning, and water and electricity networks are up and running,” says UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Marta Ruedas.

“But we still have a long way to go – a number of key areas are in desperate need of stabilization efforts. We are very grateful to the Republic of Korea for this generous contribution. It comes at exactly the right time,” she adds.

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob, said, “The Iraqi people have achieved a great victory in the war against ISIL, and have also exerted enormous efforts to stabilize and rehabilitate the affected area by the violence of the terrorist group. As a responsible member of the international community and a close friend of Iraq, the Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting the stabilization and recovery efforts in Iraq, and I firmly believe that our continuing support will contribute to laying the foundation for peace and prosperity in Iraq.”

UNDP’s Funding Facility is implementing over 2,800 projects in key areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa.

(Source: UNDP)

S Korea wins $500m Deal for Electricity in Iraq

By John Lee.

South Korea’s STX Marine Service has reportedly won a contract to restore and operate diesel-fueled electric power plants in Iraq.

According to Yonhap, the company said the US$500-million deal will see it four 900-megawatt electricity generation units over five years.

It calls for 100 South Korean engineers to be dispatched by STX, along with the hiring of 500 local workers.

The company said work started on 1st July.

(Source: Yonhap)

S Korea supports UNHCR Humanitarian Activities

Republic of Korea supports UNHCR’s humanitarian activities in Iraq

The Government of the Republic of Korea continues its support to UNHCR’s humanitarian activities in Iraq with a new donation of US$ 1.2 million.

Despite promising signs of recovery in parts of the country, millions of Iraqis still need comprehensive humanitarian and protection assistance. Some 1.9 million people are displaced; hundreds of thousands are in camps. Many will not be able to return home any time soon.

Rebuilding Iraq is no small task. As the country gets back on its feet, it is vital that the people who need emergency assistance continue to receive it for as long as they need it.

Communities affected by the recent conflict are beset by hardships. Thousands of vulnerable people arrive in UNHCR-managed camps every month because they cannot find work or pay rent in their home areas, because progress in clearing explosive hazards is slow, or because services like water and electricity are not functioning.

In July alone, 1,700 families – over 10,000 people – arrived in camps across Iraq. The majority of the new arrivals were displaced at least once before. With each displacement, people become more vulnerable.

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob (pictured), said,

“The Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting humanitarian activities in Iraq and will continue to stand by Iraqi people who are in need of humanitarian assistance. I firmly believe that Korea’s continuing support for the activities through the Iraqi Government and international organizations like UNHCR will further help the endangered Iraqi people to recover and rebuild their communities by imbuing them with hope for a new future.”

Mr. Bruno Geddo, UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq.

““There is no quick fix for Iraq. For people to see tangible improvements in their lives we must continue to respond to the situation, and stand beside the Iraqi people until they can return home safely. Sustainable return is a cornerstone of long-term peace and stability, and thanks to donors like the Republic of Korea, UNHCR is able to backstop Iraq’s journey to recovery. We will support the country’s most vulnerable people for as long as they need us.”

(Source: UN)

UNDP supports Commission of Integrity to Fight Corruption

UNDP support to the Commission of Integrity to fight corruption

A technical study visit is currently being organized in Korea by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) for a high-ranking delegation from the Iraqi Integrity commission, to benefit from the Korea’s innovative, well tested-and-proven policy tools to compact corruption.

This activity is part of a larger UNDP led programme to support the Iraqi government in its efforts to fight corruption, that is framed by the MoU signed between UNDP and the Iraqi government in 2016.

This visit also comes under the framework of the recently signed MoU between the Iraqi Integrity commission CoI and Korea Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC). The aim of the visit is to equip the Iraqi Commission of Integrity with the technical knowledge and insight on the implementation of Korea’s policy tools especially the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA), implemented in Korea since 2002 for effective monitoring and implementation of anti-corruption measures in public institutions.

The AIA will be customized to the Iraqi context to implement a National Corruption Index.

The inaugural session was chaired by the Standing Commissioner of the ACRC Mr. Hyeon Kim, who said:

“Iraq is the first Arab State who signed an MoU with Korea, and also the first country from the Arab region who would like to benefit from the Korea’s experience and the innovative policies and tools that have been in place and tremendously, helped in improving the corruption prevention measures in the public sector.”

The head of Iraqi Delegation expressed the eagerness to actualize the MoU signed between the CoI and ACRC in last April. This study visit is the kick off of a long-term collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two entities and a significant milestone towards building an effective partnership that is supported by joint efforts by the UNDP Iraq and the Seoul Centre to reinforce the Iraqi government’s efforts in fighting corruption.

(Source: UNDP)

New Power Plant inaugurated in Sulaymaniyah

Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani inaugurated a new power station in Sulaymaniyah.

In a speech during the ceremony, Prime Minister Barzani thanked South Korea for helping build the plant, which generates 400 KV electric power.   He also said that despite major challenges, the KRG has taken serious steps ahead, and it allocated significant resources to the electricity sector.

Below is the transcript of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.  I welcome you all to the grand opening ceremony of the 400 KV power plant in Bazian. I congratulate everyone on successfully finishing this important project, and I hope this project will contribute to solving the electricity issue in the area and in the Kurdistan Region in general.

I commend the Ministry of Electricity, the Korean National Oil Company (KNOC), the project implementer Posco from South Korea, the Ministry of Natural resources and all others involved in delivering this project after facing many obstacles and issues such as the fight against terror and the financial crisis. Although it has taken a long time, the project was finally finished and started operating.

I would like to especially thank the local community here and those respected individuals who some of them are present here today. They have played an important role in resolving many issues related to social issues or land ownership disputes or compensation issues. I again applaud them for their efforts, and I welcome them again.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This project is part of a wider strategic plan set out by the KRG for the electricity sector. However, similar to other projects, it has been delayed due to the war against the terror and financial crisis. It is true that the war and the financial crisis have adversely affected all aspects of life, but the KRG, with the support of its loyal citizens and friends of Kurdistan Region, has always striven to overcome the problems and the crises by implementing the projects to its best capacity even during the hardships.

Yes, I agree that there is a problem in the electricity sector. There has been the inability for the projects and plans to be implemented adequately. And, a there has been an exponential increase in demand on electricity and other public services due to urban development of the cities and towns, constant building of mega constructions such as malls, industrial areas and the renovation of the villages. And an imposed war was among other reasons that KRG could not implement its plans and projects as it should have.

Despite all that, the KRG made serious steps ahead, and it allocated significant resources to the electricity sector. Meanwhile, it encouraged private investors to initiate large projects for that sector in Erbil, Sulemani, Duhok, Halabja and other areas.

And now, enforced by the perseverance of our patient people and the heroic sacrifices of our valiant Peshmergas, we have vanquished the plans of our foes. The hard days are passing. The KRG, with all its capacity, will make steps ahead on all fronts, and it will, again, resume the projects. For the electricity sector too, we are in need of small and large steps, and this project is one of those steps. It is an attempt to reduce the issues of electricity.

Besides those attempts by the KRG to better the electricity, as previously announced that the KRG is going ahead with the implementation of Smart-Meters for electricity. This new system will have a major role in reorganizing the electricity distribution process; therefore, it would translate into providing more electricity to the public.

In addition, this system will help in changing a bad cultural habit of over-consumption of electricity and tampering with it. Instead, it will help create a new and good habit. The habit of energy conservation and reducing the consumption of electricity is very necessary for the Kurdistan Region. This system will encourage everyone to use only the amount of electricity that is needed and when needed.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This project in Bazian benefits the national grid, but it also has a special benefit to the area, which is an industrial area, as industrial projects can benefit from it. As planned by the KRG, I hope to see more projects in other sectors to be implemented in this area.
Bazian and its surrounding area with its patient and forbearing people have a history full of pride, and they undoubtedly deserve more projects and better services. The KRG will diligently continue in pursuing its mission of equally reconstructing every part of Kurdistan without distinction. It will equally provision services and implement projects in all areas.

The KRG has never made distinctions between two different areas or between cities. Because of political competitions and rivalries, some people have irresponsibly resorted to creating a false image of KRG for being unequal to different areas of the Kurdistan Region. There are some people are ready to do anything just to make people lose trust and faith in their own government.  They continuously work on disseminating the culture of rejection of everything.

They do this for only one reason because they are not in power and they have not been able to win the trust of people. This is a very damaging phenomenon, because the nation, the government, and institutions belong to the people of Kurdistan, but not any political party or any other faction. It is correct that there are shortages and problems, but not everything in this country is negative.

The people of Kurdistan are very aware and mindful than to listen to those dark pessimistic voices. It was because of the strong awareness of the people of Kurdistan, we were able to surpass all those recent years of hardship and crises. It was because of the loyalty and deep understanding of the people of Kurdistan for the situation, we were able to withstand all the problems, the war, and the crises, as they never lost faith and trust.

Here, I would like to express the utmost gratitude and reverence of the government to the people of Kurdistan and those who are on the payroll of the KRG. They have demonstrated their faithfulness to their nation, and they showed their maximum understanding of the serious situation and the threats that were engulfing the Kurdistan Region.
I would like to applaud the courageous Peshmergas, security forces and volunteers, who fought with soul and blood in defending what is achieved so far. I salute our fallen heroes. Our heartfelt condolences to the martyr’s family members and their relatives.

Dear fellow citizens of Kurdistan,

The interests of the Kurdistan Region and protecting its accomplishments requires us to be united. It is normal for the political parties to be competitive with each other. But for the public interest, for attaining the constitutional rights for the Kurdistan Region and in critical matters, we need to be together and unified.

I, again, call upon all factions in the Kurdistan Region to put aside their political discords, and go to Baghdad as one team, formed on the basis of the interests of the people of Kurdistan.

In conclusion, I congratulate all who participated in succeeding in this project. I wish for us to meet again in ceremonies similar to this project in this area and all other areas in the Kurdistan Region.
Thank you all.

(Source: KRG)

Iraq Plans to take over Mansuriyah Gas Field

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] (pictured) as ordered Iraq’s state-owned oil companies to devise an urgent plan to develop the Mansuriyah (Mansouriya) gas field, following what he described as the delay and the failure of foreign companies to start developing the field.

The field, in Diyala province, was awarded in the third licensing round in 2010 to a consortium of international oil companies consisting of: Turkey’s TPAO (37.5%), Iraq’s Oil Exploration Company (25%), Kuwait Energy (KEC) (22.5%), and the Korean Gas Corporation (Kogas) (15%).

It holds around 127 billion cubic metres of gas. They committed to produce 320 million standard cubic feet of gas a day for $7 per barrel of oil equivalent produced, the maximum the government would agree to pay.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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)

Iraq may build Oil Storage in Japan, South Korea

By John Lee.

Reuters reports that Iraq is studying the possibility of building crude oil storage facilities in South Korea and Japan.

Alaa al-Yasiri, head of the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), said the move is part of a plan to increase sales to Asian clients:

“SOMO’s new strategy is to form trade arms in Asian markets to maximize profits and boost crude shipments to Asian markets.”

More here from Reuters.

(Source: Reuters)

Hanwha briefs PM on Progress at Bismaya Housing Complex

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has received a delegation from Korean company Hanwha, headed by its President and CEO, Choi Kwang-ho.

During the meeting, they discussed the progress at the Basmaya housing complex near Baghdad, with the Prime Minister stressing the importance of securing the road link between the residential complex and the center of Baghdad.

He heard a detailed explanation by company representatives about the completion plan for the coming years, emphasizing the quality of housing units and the necessary services, including maintaining the cleanliness of the environment and spaces within the complex.

He also has called for a meeting between the company and Iraqi banks to reach suitable formulas to secure the marketing of the units under appropriate lending conditions.

Hanwha is currently building 100,000 homes at the project, which are due for completion by 2019.

(Source:  Office of the Prime Minister)