Search Results | 'basra'

AB Maritime Plan Basra-Dubai Ferry Route

AB Maritime Plan Basra-Dubai Ferry Route

By John Lee.

Arab Bridge Maritime, the joint venture established by the governments of Iraq, Jordan and Egypt in 1985, is planning a two ferry service between Basra and Dubai.

The venture will initially cost $2 million per year based on the hiring cost of the ferries, and if successful the ferries will be purchased, according to AB Maritime director Hussein al-Souob.

Al- Souob noted that the company had gone from strength to strength, with capital rising to $100 million as of last year.

(Source: Daily News Egypt.)

Posted in Leisure and Tourism, Transportation0 Comments

Basra’s Mighty Petro-Dollar

Basra’s Mighty Petro-Dollar

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Basra’s Mighty Petro-Dollar: But Does the Province Have Anything to Show for it?

Basra is one of the country’s wealthiest provinces in terms of oil it produces; its budget for 2014 is bigger than some small countries’. Yet somehow the money doesn’t seem to be improving locals’ lives. Provincial authorities hope this year will be different – only the central government in Baghdad seems to be standing in their way.

Authorities in the province of Basra have many plans to improve the lot of their people – the province is one of Iraq’s biggest oil producers yet somehow the revenue from oil sales never seems to return in sufficient amounts to alleviate poverty and to allow completion of projects such as roading and housing in the area.

Still maybe this year will be different. Local politicians have high hopes, saying there is more money than ever and that various deals have been done with international firms to try and circumvent local corruption and inefficiency and to improve the region’s services.

Indeed the province’s income for 2014 will be as much as US$15 billion. This includes amounts still owed from 2013 and the amount agreed upon last year when Law 21, which governs the powers that Iraq’s provinces can have, was amended. The amendments to Article 44 of the law firmed up how much an oil producing province should get per barrel of oil: five petrodollars per barrel of oil or 150 cubic meters of natural gas.

“Basra’s budget is higher than Jordan’s,” local economist Adnan Farhan, said. “This puts the province ahead of other Iraqi cities in terms of growth and construction – if the budget is properly spent,” he cautions.

Posted in Oil & Gas0 Comments

Kuwaiti Company to Clean up Basra

Kuwaiti Company to Clean up Basra

By John Lee.

The Kuwait National Cleaning Company has reportedly won a three-year, 207-billion-Dinar contract to remove trash from Basra city.

According to a report from Alsumaria, the company beat six competitors from Germany, Lebanon, Turkey and Iran.

The Governor’s advisor for services, Mohamad Jaafar, said:

Al Basra’s Governor, Majed Al Nasrawi, reiterated on numerous occasions the importance of dealing with the company according to standards of quality, timely delivery and cleanliness instead of the weight of garbage collected and buried in landfills. The latter approach has proven to be a failure when it was adopted with Gifra, the Turkish cleaning company in 2010.

The Kuwaiti company has agreed to employ many of the existing municipal workers in providing the service, with the remaining workers re-allocated to “public schools and certain sanitary centers“.

(Source: Alsumaria)

(Picture: Refuse Collection in Basra)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Public Works1 Comment

Changing Sea Lanes: Basra Wrecks Pose Risks

Changing Sea Lanes: Basra Wrecks Pose Risks

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Changing Sea Lanes: Basra Wrecks Pose Ecological and Political Risks

One of Iraq’s most important waterways is littered with sunken wrecks and the debris of past conflicts. Some, like wrecked oil tankers, threaten serious environmental damage. Others are a political danger as they’re slowly changing the sensitive marine border between Iraq and Iran, causing shoreline erosion and forming new islands.

Since 1991 the tanker Amuriya has posed a serious threat to the Iraqi coastline. It was sunk during the second Gulf War, when the US led forces against Iraq, following Iraq’s invasion of neighbouring Kuwait. And the tanker still lies a short distance offshore from Iraq’s important port of Basra, loaded with over 100 tons of crude oil.

For years, experts have warned that the tanker is in danger of splitting open and spilling its toxic cargo into the sea here, causing an environmental disaster that would have far reaching consequences in the area.

A lot of international firms have bid to undertake the salvage of the Amuriya. And it is clear that international expertise and equipment will be needed. But according to some observers, the Iraqi government has not responded.

The General Company of Ports of Iraq, or GCPI, has limited means to do this themselves, the organisation’s spokesperson, Anmar al-Safi told NIQASH.

“We have already cleaned up 25 sunken tankers with the equipment available to us but we cannot do much more,” al-Safi said. “We are continuously asking the Iraqi government, its Ministry of Transport, and donor companies to support us in this.”

And the tanker Amuriya is not the only one. The GCPI has surveyed the area and estimates suggest that there are around 36 sunken vessels in the Shatt al-Arab estuary. Then there are around the same amount again in the nearby Khor Abdullah waterway and the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair. Some sank during war, others fell victim to mined waterways and some sank because of collisions in times of peace.

Posted in Industry & Trade, Transportation1 Comment

Basra’s Next Battle: Defeating Corruption and Bureaucracy

Basra’s Next Battle: Defeating Corruption and Bureaucracy

By Robert Tollast.

Robert Tollast is a consultant at Noorbridge, a Helsinki based consultancy with staff in London and Nasiriyah, Iraq. He has written extensively on security, politics and economic issues in Iraq for various publications, and is currently researching a modern history of Iraq with support from The Middle East Forum. email: bobtollast@gmail.com twitter: @roberttollast

As Iraqi troops continue to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Fallujah and Ramadi, a different kind of battle is brewing 350 miles to the southeast, one that could prove just as decisive for Iraq’s future. In Basra this year, the province has more cause for more hope than in previous years. Here’s why.

The dawn of strategy

At the end of 2012, Colin Freeman reported a story in The Telegraph that made for depressing reading: Britain was closing its consulate in Basra, just as the province was experiencing a surge in foreign investment from all over the world.

Last month I spoke to a former British diplomat and asked him why this was, and he remarked that security costs- around £6m per year, were the equivalent to several embassies. But that wasn’t the only thing keeping the British away.

Another factor that has often deterred foreign investors is of course bureaucracy and the difficulty of getting your business on the ground because of Iraq’s fondness for red tape. Discouraging contractual terms offered to investors have put a stop to many potential ventures, as someone with years of experience in the country recently told me, “Iraq is good at killing the goose before it lays the golden eggs.”

But things might be about to change. Last week, Freeman published another story in The Telegraph reporting that Basra governor Nasrawi had hired the British firm Aegis Defence Services to institutionalise the latest counter-terrorism practices for the province.

Governor Nasrawi (from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq) seems to understand what counter-terrorism involves, remarking in a recent al-Monitor interview that CT was not primarily a conventional military task. The fact that he has invited a British general who was involved in the invasion is certainly an interesting story.

But Nasrawi (elected last April) is also keen to make progress in other areas. He recently hired American firm Hill International on a long term contract to oversee strategic planning and contracts with foreign companies. As he asserted in the al-Monitor interview, Nasrawi appeared determined that Basra was going to beat corruption, short termism and develop a strategy. Out with four year plans, and in with long term goals.

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Robert Tollast14 Comments

Aegis to Support Basra Security

Aegis to Support Basra Security

By John Lee.

London-based Aegis Defence Services has been selected by the Governor of Basra to provide him and his Security Committee with support in the procurement of enhancements to their security.

A formal contract was signed recently in Basra between the Governor and Aegis Chief Executive Graham Binns (pictured), who as a Major General commanded the British 7th Armoured Brigade when it led the siege of Basra in 2003. According to a report from The Telegraph, four years later he supervised the handover of the city to Iraqi security forces.

Maj Gen Binns told The Telegraph that the new role in Basra would involve “consultancy” rather than “boots on the ground”.

(Sources: Aegis, Telegraph)

Posted in Security3 Comments

Basra Governor Speaks on Corruption, Security

Basra Governor Speaks on Corruption, Security

By Mushreq Abbas for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Basra governor Majid al-Nasrawi confirmed that his city had contracted a British security consulting firm (whose name he would not disclose before the completion of the contract) to oversee Basra’s security contracts and provide studies in this regard.

Nasrawi noted that corruption is pervasive in all parts of the Iraqi state, which operates according to outdated standards and mechanisms. He confirmed that the US company Hill International had prepared Basra’s 2040 Strategic Plan, which would include all of Basra’s projects until that date.

He revealed what he dubbed the “KMK phenomenon,” which involves local companies linked to political parties that operate in the name of foreign companies in the city. Here is the text of the interview:

Al-Monitor: You took office as governor of Basra four months ago. Anyone who returns to Basra after some time away sees it as a “tired” city. How do you see it?

Nasrawi: As a citizen [of Basra], I have always felt that the city never gets what it deserves. Basra’s budget for 2012 was $3 billion, yet despite that we have not seen a significant change in the reality of the situation. Thus, I think that Basra must seriously address the reality it is facing. Basra did not diagnose its problems correctly, and thus the treatments have been wrong over the years. This is evidenced by the fact that money was spent and efforts were made, but they did not change the reality of this “tired” city at any level. This is characteristic of the entire Iraqi experience.

Personally, I’ve tried to search for long-term treatments for Basra’s problems. I did not pay much attention to patchwork solutions. For those who claim that this is all an adventure for electoral purposes, I would say that it is not a requirement that we see results now. Rather, it is important that the solutions be deep-rooted and in the form of a road map that future governments can rely on.

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas, Politics, Security0 Comments

New 25-Storey Hotel for Basra

New 25-Storey Hotel for Basra

By John Lee.

The Basra Investment Commission has reportedly approved a number of projects including the construction of a 25-storey hotel and a shopping mall.

According to a report from Zawya, Commission Chairman Ali Gasib said the luxury hotel would be located near the Shatt Al Arab river, while the shopping facility would be situated next to Basra Sports City.

The project costs were not revealed.

(Source: Zawya)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Industry & Trade, Leisure and Tourism3 Comments

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