Public Works

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

Al-Abadi Receives World Bank Director

Al-Abadi Receives World Bank Director

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi recently received in his office the director of the World Bank in the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Farid Belhaj, and the Special Representative of the World Bank Mission in Iraq, Mr. Robert Bu Jodah.

The meeting discussed the challenges of Iraq’s economy caused by the global drop of oil prices in addition to reorganizing the economy in Iraq, the government support to private sector, and turning the challenges of Iraq into opportunities for real reforms besides following up the results of the meeting between PM Dr. Al-Abadi and Director of the World Bank on the margin of Davos Forum last month.

Dr. Al-Abadi mentioned that the government is continuing in implementing its economic reforms and supporting private sector; “this is what we started to seek for through ratifying the budget of this year which adopted abstinence” and “the government started in this project and it has plans in this field but it needs the help and experience of the World Bank”.

H.E. emphasized the determination of the government to activate a retirement system which guarantees the rights of all Iraqis including those who work in the private sector.

On its part the delegation of the world bank expressed its intention to provide all kinds of support to Iraq and its readiness to establish programs and projects to activate public Banks, cooperate with the Iraqi Central Bank, rehabilitate the state owned companies in addition to supporting infrastructure projects like electricity and water.

(Source: Office of the Prime Minister)

Posted in Banking & Finance, Construction & Engineering, Industry & Trade, Public Works0 Comments

Shares in APR Rise on Basra Contract

Shares in APR Rise on Basra Contract

By John Lee.

Shares in APR Energy were up 3 percent on Wednesday morning after the company announced that it has signed a contract renewal for its power generation contract in Iraq, taking the term through the end of 2015.

The power plant has been in operation since 2012 and comprises six GE TM2500 mobile gas turbines capable of generating more than 120MW of electricity. APR Energy acquired the plant in 2013 as part of its acquisition of GE’s power rental business.

Located in Basra, the gas-fired power plant provides reliable base load power and grid stability to the population of the Basra province, as well as supporting oil and gas, petrochemical and agricultural industries.

Commenting on the contract renewal, APR Energy’s Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ranjit Singh said:

Our fast-track solution is providing Basra residents and industries with reliable power, helping to fill critical needs and supporting economic and social stability. Mobile turbine technology helps stabilise the grid, uses approximately a third of the space required by a mobile reciprocating engine site and requires only a small team to operate and maintain.

“This renewal reflects our customer’s ongoing demand for electricity, as well as our proven ability to deliver large-scale power quickly, reliably and consistently.

Laurence Anderson (pictured), APR Energy Chief Executive Officer added:

I’m very pleased to have renewed this significant contract in Iraq, which follows on the heels of our 135MW contract extension and expansion in Indonesia.

“Our focus following the acquisition of the GE power rental business has been to renew the former GE contracts under more favourable terms or else relocate the assets to higher-value opportunities, and this renewal is very much aligned with that strategy.

(Sources: APR Energy, Yahoo!)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works4 Comments

Kurdistan Needs $1.4bn to Stabilize Economy

Kurdistan Needs $1.4bn to Stabilize Economy

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq Needs an Estimated US$1.4 billion this Year to Stabilize the Economy

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees (starting in early 2012) and more recently the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in 2014.

According to a newly completed KRG – World Bank report, economic growth contracted 5 percentage points in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), and poverty rate more than double increasing from 3.5 percent to 8.1 percent.

The report, Economic and Social Impact Assessment of the Syrian Conflict and ISIS Crisis, provides national and regional policy makers with a technical assessment of the impact and stabilization costs needed for 2015, associated with the influx of refugees and IDPs.

The stabilization cost for 2015 is estimated at US$1.4 billion [1.6 trillion Iraqi dinars] in additional spending above and beyond the KRG budget. This estimate could get much higher depending on how long the crisis persists. While the KRG has been responsive to addressing the needs of the displaced population up till now, more resources are needed to avert this humanitarian crisis and address the needs of the displaced population in the medium and long-term.

Impact refers to the immediate economic and fiscal effects on the KRG economy and budget, while stabilization cost refers to the additional spending that would be needed to restore the welfare of residents of the KRI.

“The international community remains deeply concerned by the circumstances facing the refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” said Robert Bou Jaoude, World Bank Special Representative for Iraq. “We hope that this assessment will support the KRG’s dialogue with its national and international counterparts and that a swift resolution to this problem will be identified.”

The study highlights how prices and unemployment have increased, and refugees and IDPs entering the labor market are pushing wages down. A surge in violence led to supply side shocks. The ISIS crisis has had a significant effect on trade of goods and services.

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Posted in Banking & Finance, Industry & Trade, Public Works, Security12 Comments

UNICEF, EU Fund Water Conservation Project

UNICEF, EU Fund Water Conservation Project

The UNICEF Water and Sanitation (WASH) programme, with financial support from the European Union (EU) has started the implementation of a public awareness project to promote efficient water use and improved hygiene practices in Iraq.

The project will engage 10 million Iraqis with messages on effective water conservation, water handling at the household level and hygiene practices. The project will aim change household level their behaviours and help the Government of Iraq’s efforts to institutionalize public awareness activities within existing ministries at national, regional and governorate levels.

So far, two workshops had been conducted, one in Erbil with the participation of the stakeholders in KRG governorates where a sub-national taskforce was formulated to operationalize the plans and another one in Najaf with the participation of senior staff from line ministries (General Secretariat for the Council of Ministries, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Municipality and Public Works, Ministry of Education, Mayoralty of Baghdad, and Ministry of Planning), in addition to local NGOs, media, institutions and social media experts.

The UNICEF WASH programme EU-funded project has four main pillars:

  • Gaining in sight on current practices by conducting a survey on social and behavioural practices on water usage and environmental aspects across Iraq to guide intervention messages and strategies.
  • Forming a higher ministerial committee and branch committees to operationalize and monitor the project across all of Iraq.
  • Agreeing on the objectives and messages to raise the awareness on water conservation and change behaviour.
  • Conducting a post campaign survey on water usage and environmental aspects to evaluate the impact of the project and the level of behaviour change.

“The importance of this project at this stage lies in the advocacy with the government counterparts, showing the importance of the conservation of water resources in anticipation of expected shortages in the near future as a result of climate change in the region and the extension of desertification to several agricultural lands,” said Dr. Ali Al-Khateeb, the acting chief of WASH. “It is also important to stop tampering with the water environment and prohibit disposing of waste and pollutants in water sources.”

(Source: UNICEF)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works4 Comments

Turkey Sends Power-Generation Ship to Basra

Turkey Sends Power-Generation Ship to Basra

By John Lee.

Turkey is to send a power-generation ship to Basra to help alleviate its electricity shortages.

The announcement was made by Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, on Sunday during the 17th Turkey-Iraq Joint Economic Commission meeting in Baghdad.

According to Worldbulletin, the ship will add 410 megawatts to the existing capacity of 250 MW in the city.

Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding is a major player in the power ship market.

(Source: Worldbulletin)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Public Works2 Comments

$3bn Power Plant for Bismaya

$3bn Power Plant for Bismaya

By John Lee.

Reuters reports that Mass Global will partly finance a $3-billion power plant in Bismaya.

The gas-fired, 3,000-megawatt plant is being built by Turkey’s Enka Insaat, whose chairman Sinan Tara said it would be financed partly from Mass Global’s equity and partly from Iraqi lenders.

The project will be built in two phases of 1,500 MW each.

The companies have already worked together on power plants in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

(Source: Reuters)

(Picture: new housing project at Bismaya).

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works3 Comments

Iraq Faces Budget Cuts

Iraq Faces Budget Cuts

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

Sana al-Khafaji, an employee in Iraq’s Ministry of Construction and Housing, was surprised by the $100 deduction from her monthly salary paid by the Iraqi government, following news about an expected government austerity plan to be adopted by Haider al-Abadi’s government to reduce the waste of public funds and compensate for the substantial expenditures of the previous government.

The state of austerity that Iraq is about to face is also caused by a drop in crude oil prices and the multifront war against the Islamic State (IS) in several provinces north and west of Baghdad.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Khafaji predicted an [even] higher salary deduction. “This is what we hear every day,” she said, but the deduction from her salary was made on the amount received as a bonus and not from her fixed basic income.

Rumors are being spread across Iraq that the continuation of the war on IS will surely lead to a salary deduction of government officials who make up around 4 million public employees. This will also result in a hiring freeze of new employees.

However, the economic adviser to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Mazhar Mohammed Saleh, denied any knowledge of salary cuts of civil servants in the ministries.

Saleh told Al-Monitor, “The implementation of an austerity plan will not be easy to interpret and we cannot foretell the situation in a short period.”

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Posted in Banking & Finance, Construction & Engineering, Public Works7 Comments

Freedom Square offers Refuge for Basra Residents

Freedom Square offers Refuge for Basra Residents

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

No one in the southern Iraqi province Basra believed that families would flock to Hurriyah (Freedom) Square to see and sit by the new monument after it was greatly ridiculed in newspapers and on social networking sites for its appearance — some described it as a large eggplant surrounded by horses.

People from out of town changed their opinions about the monument once they arrived in Basra and heard the residents’ stories about it.

The plan to build a “Freedom Monument” in Basra was announced together with plans for other statues in Iraq, which were also criticized.

Basra is the second-largest city in Iraq and the only Iraqi city with harbors overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The West Qurna oil field, which produces 360,000 barrels of oil per day, is located in the city. But Basra suffers from unemployment and lack of social services.

Life in Basra has become harder on the residents since militias have emerged in the city. Hurriyah Square, which has so far not been the scene of any fighting, has become a safe haven for young people who object to Sharia rule imposed by Islamic parties that are in control of various parts of the city.

On Sept. 11, the day of the square’s inauguration, Basra Gov. Majid al-Nasrawi, said, “[This is] one of the successful projects in Basra … and [the square is] a breather for its residents.”

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Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works, Security2 Comments

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