Tag Archive | "Basra"

The latest news from Basra – renovation, building, investment & more – brought to you by Iraq Business News

Shell, FC Barcelona Extend Basra Partnership


Shell and the Foundation of Football Club Barcelona (FFCB) have signed an agreement extending the award winning extra-curricular school programme “FutbolNet”, for an additional two seasons in Basrah.

The “FutbolNet” programme is based on FFCB’s methodology of using football to develop life and leadership skills, respect, tolerance, teamwork, responsibility and effort amongst children and encouraging positive behaviour through the ages of 7 and 17.

The extension follows the great success of “FutbolNet” festivals in Iraq. Moreover, the programme has been well received by the participating communities in Iraq who feel it is of great benefit to the individual and collective development of youth in the country.

Endorsed by former national athlete Mr. Hani Waleed, former Secretary General of the Basrah Athletic Federation, the unique football project kicked off in 2013 through the ‘FutbolNet Festivals’ which were rolled out in communities across Basrah in southern-Iraq.

One of the participants Hussien Khalil, who is 12, said:

“The programme has made me more committed to my studies and school work. I now have more respect for timekeeping than before and my grades have also improved.

“My parents and teachers have certainly taken notice of my achievements whilst I have also enjoyed making new friends during the programme.”

The initiative also further builds on Shell’s capacity building programme and social investment activities in Iraq which include health care, road safety and entrepreneurship.

Posted in Leisure and Tourism, Oil & GasComments (4)

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.”

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public Works, SecurityComments (2)

Iraq Britain Business Council: Accentuating the Positive


By Robert Tollast.

Luay al-Khairullah has reason to be optimistic. As Chairman of the Dhi Qar Provincial Investment Commission, I spoke to him last year about the planned Nasiriyah Integrated Project (NIP) a 300,000 barrel a day capacity refinery not far from his home town.

It’s a project that will create much needed jobs and provide cheaper fuel for Iraqis.

The NIP is just one of several vital strategic projects for Iraq, some progressing such as the multi billion dollar Grand al Faw port project and the Karbala refinery (a Hyandai led project).

Other projects are still in the blueprint stage. Zaha Hadid’s avant garde design for a new Central Bank of Iraq is one such audacious project, and many more are in the pipeline- Iraq’s second biggest resource is surely ambition.

But Dr.al Khairullah’s humble, quiet demeanor quickly turned to near excitement when I mentioned the possibility of greater tourism in Iraq’s famous southern marshes.

This was “already being prepared for” and soon the province was planning an international showcase for the many sites to visit in the south such as the iconic Sumerian Ziggurat, the Mudhifs of the ancient Marsh Arab culture and the museums of antiquities.

Posted in Blog, Robert TollastComments (0)

The Real Estate Wreckers of Basra


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.

Real Estate Wreckers: While Ordinary Basra Families Suffer, A New Upper Class Profits

Real estate prices in Basra are rising dramatically thanks to the oil industry, the province’s economic prowess and a growing population. Many locals say a new class of corrupt officials, smugglers and developers are profiting while ordinary families are forced to move out of town.

After ten years living in the same house, in the Bariha area of Basra, Ahmed Bader and his family of five were forced to leave their home. The landlord had increased the rent to US$1,600 monthly and Bader only earns IQD900,000 (around US$760) each month.

“We had no choice,” Bader says, “we were forced to move to an agricultural area in the Abu al-Khaseeb area outside of Basra, even though that’s a long way from my workplace.”

Bader is not the only local in Basra to be feeling the effects of rising real estate prices. Central areas in Basra are heavily populated and rents for ordinary houses here are as high as US$2,000 while it now costs around US$1 million to buy a 400 square meter property here. This is despite the fact that improvements to infrastructure in central Basra have not kept pace with real estate price rises.

The reason for such price hikes: Basra is one of the centres of Iraq’s burgeoning oil industry and, as local journalist Hashim Luaibi points out, the oil companies can afford to pay these higher rates to provide for their employees. Basra is also a prosperous area and currently, because of its Shiite Muslim-majority population, it is not as troubled as other parts of Iraq by violence caused by the Sunni Muslim extremist group, the Islamic State.

There’s been an influx of Iraqis from other parts of the country to Basra over the past few years but there’s nowhere for them to live, says a local lawyer, Tariq al-Abarsim.

“Displacement and population growth combined with the absence of any real housing projects have led to chaos in the housing sector,” al-Abarsim suggests.

Posted in Construction & EngineeringComments (0)

More Chinese Trains Delivered


By John Lee.

Iraq has received a second shipment of two new trains from China.

Of the ten units ordered, this brings the total delivered to four, with the balance to be delivered by the end of the year.

The total value of the contract is $138 million (161 billion Iraqi dinars).

Chairman of the Ports Committee of Basra Council, Murtaza Shahmani, told the National Iraqi News Agency the trains will join the fleet servicing the Baghdad- Basra route, and will be ready for the start within days.

(Sources: NINA, Basra Council)

Posted in TransportationComments Off

$240m Iraq Desalination Contract


By John Lee.

A consortium has been awarded a $240-million engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) order from Iraq’s Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works to build pretreatment facilities at a desalination plant in Basra.

Japan’s Hitachi and Veolia Environnement of France have won $100 million of the total, with Egyptian engineering firm ArabCo getting the rest for civil engineering, construction, and on- site installation work.

Construction is scheduled to begin in immediately, with completion scheduled for April 2017.

The pretreatment facilities include surrounding river water intake facilities and water transport networks, for which he Japanese government has provided loan assistance.

According to WaterWorld, the contract is an addition to an earlier EPC and five-year operation and maintenance deal, won by the Franco-Japanese consortium, for the Basra plant.

The Basra reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant will be the largest facility of its kind in Iraq, capable of supplying drinking water at 199,000 m3/d.

(Sources: Desalination & Water Reuse, WaterWorld)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, Public WorksComments Off

Transworld Group, NAWAH Partner on Ports


Dubai-headquartered companies Transworld Group and NAWAH [North America Western Asia Holdings] have announced that the two firms have entered into a formal agreement to service Iraq’s growing demand for imports, linking their considerable shipping, logistics, marine services and port capabilities.

As part of their agreement, Transworld Group and NAWAH Port Management, NAWAH’s port operations business unit, will team up to increase the flow of essential goods coming from the broader Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Far East and Southeast Asia into the historic Port of Basra with seamless linkage to commercial centers throughout Iraq.

Ritesh S. Ramakrishnan, Transworld Group’s director of strategy and business planning, said:

“Iraq stands at such an important moment of time – historically and commercially – and we are keen to play a part in this phase of growth.

“The sheer scale and magnitude of development occurring today in Iraq, along with a growing middle class, requires logistical flows of epic proportions.

“Aligning with NAWAH provides Transworld Group with first-class logistics solutions and unrivaled port operations in Basra and one of the most reliable door-to-door capabilities in Iraq.”

Nicholas Kunesh, NAWAH Port Management’s president and CEO, said:

“Together with Transworld Group’s four decades of shipping experience and NAWAH’s in-depth knowledge and operational capabilities within Iraq, we are confident that we will redefine logistics in the Middle East.

“Through our combined expertise, market reach, state-of-the-art technology and customer-focused shipping and logistics services, we will enable Basra to continue its accelerated march to becoming a key strategic trading center in the Middle East, bridging East and West.”

Transworld Group and NAWAH have already initiated joint cargo movement from Jebel Ali Port to NPM’s Port of Basra terminal with containers from Transworld Group’s Balaji Shipping Lines transiting via NPM’s feeder vessel service into southern Iraq. Containerized and refrigerated cargo volume is forecasted to grow substantially in the next six months.

(Source: Transworld)

Posted in Construction & Engineering, TransportationComments Off

Petrofac Wins $500m Rumaila Contract


By John Lee.

Petrofac has also been awarded a major contract in Iraq to provide general construction management services to BP Iraq NV (BP) on the Rumaila field near Basra.

Petrofac will provide management and personnel to manage brownfield modifications to assist BP – and its partners in the Rumaila Operations Organisation (ROO), China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) and South Oil Company (SOC) – in executing its strategy to rapidly and safely increase production from what is one of the world’s largest fields.

The contract, which runs for three years, with an option for further extension of two years, has a potential value of up to $500 million.

Petrofac will provide the overall management and co-ordination of multiple construction projects, including construction management and supervision of work undertaken by third party contractors on the field, 32 km from the Kuwaiti border.

Mani Rajapathy, Senior Vice President, MENA/CIS, said:

“The award builds on an established track record for Petrofac in Iraq, in particular at Rumaila, dating back to 2011. We look forward to sharing in the continued success of the regeneration of Rumaila.”

(Source: Petrofac)

Posted in Oil & GasComments Off

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