US firm to upgrade Basra port

15 April 2014

Nawah Port Management to expand Iraqi container terminal

Iraq’s Ministry of Transport has signed an agreement with the US’ Nawah Port Management (NPM) to expand terminal operations at the Al-Maqal Port in Basra.

The 10-year agreement, also signed with state-owned General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), will quadruple the port’s terminal operations on the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

NPM will rehabilitate the 150-metre waterfront at the port’s berth-13 and the 40,000-square metre cargo yard. Once construction is completed, the berth will be one of only two fully-containerised terminals at the port.

NPM opened its first container terminal in Iraq in October 2013, with Berth-14 which handles containerised, break-bulk and project cargo, allowing the import and export of goods between the Gulf and the city of Basra then onto the rest of Iraq.

NPM is a business unit of North America Western Asia Holdings.

Iraq plans to double the number of docks at Iraq’s four existing commercial ports by the end of 2014 to increase capacity from 15.9 million tonnes to 29 million tonnes. It also plans to modernise all port facilities, dredge shipping lanes and remove sunken vessels.

On 10 April, GCPI signed a contract with Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) for the modernisation and expansion of container facilities at the nearby Umm Qasr terminal in Basra. This includes the construction and operation of three new quays and the operation of the existing Quay-2.

The Umm Qasr port has 21 berths with a total length of 5,000 metres handling 500,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). Under the agreement, ITCI will invest $100m in the construction of another 200-metres of quay to handle an additional 300,000 TEUs. This will be expanded to 600 metres and 900,000 TEUs within two years. The rehabilitation of the existing Berth 20 will cost another $30m.

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