The company dredging Umm Qasr port in Basra province has reached 12 meters deep, which should end Iraq's dependence on neighbouring countries’ ports, according to the Iraqi minister of transport on Friday.
“The Belgian company’s excavation works reached a depth of 12 meters on Friday, compared to 7.5 meters in 2005 and 8.5 meters in 2008,” Amer Abduljabbar told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
The transport ministry had signed a contract worth 52 million euros with Belgian company Jan de Nul to rehabilitate Umm Qasr port to reach the depths of 12.5 meters.
“The designed depths of 12.5 meters will be announced by late this month, which is a great achievement made for the first time since the first Gulf war in 1980,” said Abduljabbar.
Umm Qasr port was built in early 1970s. Other ports in Basra included Khour al-Zubeir that was build in 1974 and Abu Fallous. All of them are located on the Shatt al-Arab waterway.
(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)