Public Works

Iraq Business News brings you the latest Iraqi news today on developments & opportunities in public works.

Erbil to Haji Omaran Road Slashes Driving Time

Erbil to Haji Omaran Road Slashes Driving Time

The KRG’s Ministry of Housing and Reconstruction is currently building a dual carriageway connecting Erbil to Haji Omaran.

Parts of the road, which include tunnels and bridges, do not pass through the old path known as Hamilton Road.

After the project is completed, the road between Erbil and Haji Omaran will become a dual carriageway. The majority of the project is currently being implemented, including the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, the Korey dual carriageway, roadwork in Shaqlawa and Mama Jalka, construction of the Bani Harir tunnel, and the stretch of the dual carriageway from Choman to Haji Omaran.

The project comprises two main sections. The first section includes the construction of the Pirmam road and tunnel, with a total length of 8.822 kilometers. The length of the tunnel is 2.450 km and the length of the road is 6.432 km. The road and tunnel system is 72% completed, and is expected to be open to the public by the middle of 2015.

The first section also includes the expansion of the 21.320 km Korey – Shaqlawa – Mama Jalka road, which requires the construction of two tunnels, 935 and 380 meters long. Approximately 82% of this road and tunnel system has been completed; it is also expected to be finished by the middle of 2015.

Finally, the first section includes the construction of the Bani Harir tunnel system, with a total length of 4.415 km. The tunnel itself is 3.565 km, and the road is 850 meters long. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Erbil to Haji Omaran dual carriageway 2The second section of the project consists of the construction of the 16.685 km dual carriageway connecting Choman to Haji Omaran, to be completed by the end of 2017.

Along with lessening the time required for travel and reducing the number of traffic accidents, the construction of Erbil-Haji Omaran road is expected to boost the Region’s trade relations with regional and neighboring countries because of its strategic location. It will also connect villages, towns, and areas near the highway with the Kurdistan Region’s major cities.

Archibald Hamilton, an engineer from New Zealand, built the old strategic road in the late 1920s in order to link Erbil to Haji Omaran. He has recalled his work in the book Road through Kurdistan: The Narrative of an Engineer in Iraq, published in London in 1937.

In terms of developing other road networks in Kurdistan, the Ministry has completed the design and preparation of the dual carriageway road and tunnel between Mama Jalka and Choman, with a length of 62.685 km. This length includes 15.540 km of tunnel and 47.145 km of road. This will be implemented through phases according to the Ministry’s annual budget.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Industry & Trade, Public Works, Transportation0 Comments

Keeping the Lights on in Baghdad: An Interview with Harry Istepanian

Keeping the Lights on in Baghdad: An Interview with Harry Istepanian

By Bob Tollast.

This article constitutes an introduction on the recent history of Iraq’s electricity sector followed by a Q and A with Mr. Istepanian.

As Iraq endures the most serious terrorist offensive since 2004, what is certain is that this year a separate fight will continue to improve services, also crucial to the legitimacy of the government.

Iraq’s electricity sector today has overcome many challenges since it’s heyday before the onset of hostilities at the start of the 1991 Gulf War.

But the mountain is only half climbed, because although the spring 2014 saw almost 24 hour electricity in parts of the country for the first time since Operation Desert Storm, the situation is tenuous. With the arrival of summer and its associated need for full blast air conditioning, demand will surge again and we could soon be seeing the power outages Iraqis have become too familiar with.

A casualty of war

Twenty three years ago, as coalition aircraft massed in the Gulf to attack Saddam’s power base in Iraq, the country was producing more than enough electricity, over 9000 MW. This development arose from Saddam’s spending sprees of the 1970s and 80s where the nationalised oil industry produced a windfall of petrodollars, which the Ba’ath Party was keen to spend on infrastructure. The good times soon ground to a halt however, with the immense expenditure incurred by Iraq’s war effort against Iran. Nonetheless, the lights stayed on until the electricity infrastructure was targeted as a part of the coalition air campaign to cripple Saddam’s million strong armed forces.

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Posted in Public Works, Robert Tollast6 Comments

First Natural Gas Arrives at Duhok Power Station

First Natural Gas Arrives at Duhok Power Station

The Kurdistan Regional Government has announced the successful delivery via pipeline of the first quantities of natural gas from the gas field at Summail to fuel the Duhok Power Station (pictured).

The Summail Gas Field lies within the area of the Duhok Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and is operated by the Norwegian company DNO, which together with Anglo-Turkish PSC partner Genel Energy, signed a landmark gas sales agreement (GSA) with the KRG on 18 September 18 2013.

Long-term deliveries are expected to reach 120 million cubic feet per day sold on a take-or-pay basis for the duration of the production, showing the KRG can successfully develop its newly discovered gas assets in Kurdistan.

Under the long-term GSA, the KRG will purchase up to 120mmscf/d. Initial volumes will start at around 55mmscf/d, ramping up to 120mmscf/d within the next few months, and thereafter itis hoped that gas production will eventually rise to around 200mmscf/d.

The Duhok Power Station is a 750 MW power plant in the city of Duhok, located 40 kilometres from the field. The power station’s six turbines have been run on expensive diesel until now, due to significant delays in originally expected gas deliveries from the Khor Mor area. Each of the turbines consumes around 24 million litres per month of diesel, or around 27.50mmscf/d natural gas.

The locally-produced natural gas will displace diesel from the power station and is part of a KRG strategy to save the people of Kurdistan millions of dollars every year in costly diesel imports for power generation.

Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said that the successful commissioning of the Duhok Power Station operated by Mass Global, the Kurdistan main and feeder gas pipelines constructed by Kar Group, and the Summail gas facilities built by DNO, represented a significant step forward for the Kurdistan Region.

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Posted in Construction & Engineering, Oil & Gas, Public Works0 Comments

Stolen Museum Artifacts Repatriated

Stolen Museum Artifacts Repatriated

A handover ceremony took place on May 21, 2014 if many of the stolen and looted artifacts from the National Museum.

The ceremony took place in the presence of Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Liwa’ Smaisim and Officials in the administration of the museum.

These pieces, which include 166 clay tablets and figurines dating back to the Sumerian era, have been retrieved in the United States, Australia, Germany, Lebanon, Morocco and Kuwait.

(Source: MoFA)

Posted in Education & Training, Public Works0 Comments

$32k Raised for Iraqi Orphans

$32k Raised for Iraqi Orphans

The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) hosted its second annual “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K fun run/walk at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, VA, on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

Participants ran to benefit desperately poor Iraqi orphans and street children after years of war. Iraq’s Ambassador to the US Lukman Faily ran as this year’s Distinguished Guest Runner.

According to a December 2012 UNICEF report, there are approximately 800,000 orphans in Iraq today. Many orphans and other displaced children work on the streets or in other dangerous environments to support widowed mothers or extended family.

This humanitarian crisis poses a threat to the future security and stability of Iraq. Unless effective action is taken in the next 5-10 years, manyof these children – especially those in desperate poverty – may reach adulthood without help for the trauma and suffering they have experienced, leaving them vulnerable to extremists, criminals, and human traffickers.

The Iraqi Children Foundation’s “IN THEIR SHOES” 5K is focused on raising awareness of the suffering, poverty, and vulnerability of these kids and mobilizing loving support for food, tutoring, emotional care, and more to address their basic needs.

Other participants in the run included ICF Chairman and Iraq war veteran Jonathan Webb; former Iraq Ambassador to the US and UN Samir Sumaida’ie; US Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard J. Schmierer; Gold Star Mothers of American servicemen/women who died in Iraq, distinguished members of the local Iraqi-American community, and youth from local area schools. Premier Sponsors were the Khudairi Group, Triple Canopy, and BH Defense.

The Iraqi Children Foundation is a US-based nonsectarian tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity, based in Falls Church, VA, whose mission is to mobilize a life-changing surge of love for Iraqi orphans and street children who have suffered from years of violence. For more information, visit

(Source: ICF)

Posted in Public Works1 Comment

LSIS Inks $52m Smart Metering Deal

LSIS Inks $52m Smart Metering Deal

By John Lee.

Korean company LSIS said on Wednesday that it has signed a $52 million deal with the Iraqi government to supply its patented advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions.

The company will supply 110,000 smart meters that track energy consumption at power transmission centers in Iraq. The transmission centers will then share all relevant information with the power distribution control center to simplify smart grid management. LSIS will also build 19 AMI centers across the country.

According to a report from the Korea Times, the deal brings the company’s total business dealings in Iraq to $500 million since 2011, most of it in power plant contruction.

“The latest achievement means that LSIS can supply integrated electricity solutions in all related areas other than power development in Iraq,” said spokesman Kim Bong-kyu.

(Sources: Korea Times, Korea Joongang Daily)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works0 Comments

Work Starts on New Tigris Suspension Bridge

Work Starts on New Tigris Suspension Bridge

By John Lee.

The Minister of Construction and Housing, Mohamed Sahib al-Daraji [Mohammed Al-Deraji], has laid the foundation stone for the new AlGriat (Jawadain) suspension bridge project in Baghdad.

The bridge will connect the holy city of Kadhimiya with AlGriat across the Tigris River.

The Minister said that the project also includes setting up entertainment areas in the central region of the Tigris River, consisting of three floors, including restaurants and markets.

Designs were provided by the German company Dorsch Gruppe.

(Source: Ministry of Construction and Housing)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works0 Comments

Lessons Learned on Water Management

Lessons Learned on Water Management

Under the framework of the IPSM-Phase II Programme, a knowledge sharing workshop was conducted to familiarize the concerned participants from the two pilot areas in Duhok and Najaf on decentralized water management with reform success stories and challenges.

The event was held in Erbil, in the General Directorate of Water and Sewerage on 14-15 April 2014.

Participants from the General Directorate of Water and Sewerage, representatives from Duhok outskirts water directorate, Najaf water directorate, local NGOs, UNICEF and UN-Habitat attended the event.

Two international specialists were engaged to present case studies on water sector administrative reform, and to manage the discussions which focused on the various aspects and tools for reform of the water sector.

The discussions ranged from very broad aspects of policy, regulation, administrative and procedural restrictions applied by some governmental institutions (major concern raised about difficulties with Ministry of Finance) to more concrete measures and suggestions for organisational and institutional reform of the pilot models in Duhok and Najaf. Experiences from Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Bosnia-Herzegovina were presented and used to illustrate the ways that reforms in the sector can follow.

Following to that, the participants discussed appropriate reform models that can be applied in the local context of Duhok and Najaf. Discussions extended to action points as the necessity of clear job description and efficient performance appraisal systems.

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Posted in Agriculture, Public Works0 Comments

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