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Expanding Basic Services to Poor Neighbourhoods in Basra

The European Union supports UN-Habitat to expand basic services to poor neighbourhoods in Basra City

The last 18 months have highlighted the importance of access to safe potable water, sanitation, waste management, and hygienic conditions to prevent and protect human health during disease outbreaks.

Nearly 1.8 billion people world-wide live in inadequate housing, in overcrowded conditions with lack of access to clean water. The absence of basic services leaves families with increased exposure to disease outbreaks, including COVID-19.

On 13 September, UN-Habitat, in cooperation with the European Union, brought together the Governor's Assistant for Administrative Affairs, Governor's Assistant for Labor and Social Affairs Departments and Head of DOLSA, the Head of Basra Municipality and representatives from the directorates of Water, Sewage, Planning, Physical Planning, Electricity, Labour and Social Affairs, Health and Environment to discuss upgrading under-serviced neighbourhoods in Basra city, within which some of the poorest families in Basra live as well as provide vocational training and waste management solutions.

The purpose of the meeting was to confirm two of the three neighbourhoods within which UN-Habitat will work for the coming three years. The committee has agreed on the general approach to the project and two of the three locations, Al-Ehrar and Al-Kubyah neighbourhoods, and a third will soon be identified.

Mr. Arab Al-Jabri, Governor's Assistant for Labor and Social Affairs Departments and Head of DOLSA said in his opening remarks:

"With the help of this organisation, we can find solutions for these crises, creating work opportunities, in addition to other problems.  We are calling on the local authorities, and Water, Municipality, Environment, Health, to help them move forward in their aim.  We wish them success in elevating the problems, most important the unemployment among the young, the housing crises, and infrastructure. We hope all Directorates respond to their needs."

In her opening remarks, Ms. Barbara Egger, Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation to Iraq, said:

"Through this project, the European Union is providing critical urban planning support to help the governorate of Basra, in consultation with the people of Basra, to oversee, prioritize, plan and implement priority interventions for improved service delivery and generation of employment.

"The ownership and leadership of the Basra Governorate, Basra municipality and various technical directorates is key, and we continue to count on sustained close collaboration. We look forward to the next steps in implementation and to the continued focus on sustainability and community engagement.''

UN-Habitat has worked in Basra for many years, both through normative and operational projects. In 2007, UN-Habitat supported the development and implementation of new laws, policies and programme for solid waste management.

More recently, in 2019, UN-Habitat implemented a pilot project in Al Qibla informal settlement to improve living conditions and in 2020, conducted a comprehensive urban assessment of Basra City and published the Basra Urban Profile. One of the key findings of the Basra Urban Profile shows that upgrading of basic services in Basra would considerably reduce environmental problems faced in the city.

Mr. Wael Al-Ashhab, Head of UN-Habitat Iraq, said during the meeting:

"Under this project, UN-Habitat will implement a number of activities that contributes to improve the overall living conditions and environment in Basra city. We very much look forward to working very closely with our counterparts in Basra Governorate, Municipality, and relevant Directorates and count on your support to ensure success of this very important project."

Mr. Moeen Saleh Al-Hassan, Governor's Assistant for Administrative Affairs, said at the close of the meeting:

"I reiterate my appreciate to the European Union for their time and effort and welcome any project by the European Union.  We thank the European Union for working in Basra, and we will work together to ensure the success of the project."

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) would like to thank the European Union for supporting the project titled "Increasing Access to Employment Opportunities for Vulnerable Urban Population in Basra City in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis". This project will provide support for vulnerable populations in underserviced neighbourhoods in Basra City which aim to increase access to employment opportunities in basic services and waste management sectors for unemployed youth, women and vulnerable urban population.

(Source: UN)

Posted in Iraq Public Works News 0 Comments

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Sustainable Energy Solutions: New Projects Launched

Supporting Iraq's Local Economic Development through Sustainable Energy Solutions - New Projects Launched

Three innovative projects aimed at promoting sustainable energy solutions were launched today in partnership with the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq and the governorates of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Duhok.

The projects, which were designed by the individual governorates based on their strategic plans, come at a time where many governorates in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) face environmental sustainability challenges, and are seeking sustainable alternative sources of energy, in line with their commitment to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions according to the developed Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) in 2018, under Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq Through Local Development programme, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP.

  • The project to be implemented in Erbil project will include the installation of solar panels for water pumps in 45 rural areas, as well as 100 solar water heaters in farms to be used for agricultural production. These will reduce costs for production.
  • In Sulaymaniyah, conventional streetlamps that consume a large amount of electricity due to the usage of high-pressure lamps, will be replaced with 10,000 energy efficient LED lamps that will result in a significant reduction of governorate's energy bill.
  • In Dohuk, the governorate is turning its attention to the enormous potential of solar power and will install a mini solar park with capacity of up to 2 Mw. This will be the first introduction of solar supply in Iraq and will also support a potential Public Private Partnership (PPP) and serve as a bankable pilot for major future investments in the project.

Ms. Zena Ali Ahmad, Resident Representative of UNDP in Iraq said:

"Providing renewable energy solutions to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is critical to addressing many of its environmental challenges. These projects are the first initiatives for the region, pioneering its transition from traditional sources of power to clean energy, and showcases the individual governorates' commitment to a cleaner, greener Iraq."

The Ambassador to the European Union to Iraq, Mr. Ville Varjola, mentioned:

''The launch of three projects is the result of committed and innovative work under the leadership of the Governor of Erbil, Governor Dohuk and Governor of Sulaymaniyah to address local priorities but in parallel to take steps towards green economy and reduction of CO2 emissions.

"Both are high priorities for Iraq as well as for the EU cooperation with Iraq. I congratulate these achievements and look forward to speedy implementation to the benefit of the people of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah.''

Mr. Omed Xoshnaw, Governor of Erbil:

"This project enhances our governorate's efforts in adapting alternative and advanced methods to generate electricity, such as solar energy. The project, supported by the United Nations Development Programme and funded by the European union, aims at benefiting from natural resources and advance the development of power generation, development of agriculture sector, and encourage farmers to increase local production in the region.

"This project is a new confirmation to the importance and the effectiveness of the partnership between the Governorate of Erbil and UNDP and the coordination with local communities and private sectors."

Dr. Haval Abubakir, Governor of Sulaymaniyah:

"This project was nominated according to Sulaymaniyah (Slemani) Governorate's Strategic Plan for Renewable Energy and Environment, approved by European Union and UNDP, in cooperation with UNDP, Planning and Electricity Directorates in the governorate.

"It is an important project for lighting the main streets, reducing electricity consumption and CO2 emission, saving huge expenses for the public treasury, providing job opportunities and contemporary development for the governorate, directly benefiting citizens."

Mr. Ali Tatar, Governor of Duhok:

"We appreciate the active role of UNDP to serve the people of Duhok, from refugees and internally displaced people to the local communities for years.

"We are particularly grateful for the initiation of the first project on renewable energy, which is the solar power project in our governorate that will protect and sustain a healthy environment"

The projects reaffirm the governorates' commitment to developing clean energy solutions, in addition to UNDP's and the EU's continuous support to projects that address climate change and a green economy in Iraq, under Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq Through Local Development programme, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP.

(Source: UN)

Posted in Construction & Engineering In Iraq 0 Comments

Majid Jafar, Crescent Petroleum

Khor Mor gets $250m Financing from DFC

Pearl Petroleum, the consortium led by Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum of the UAE, has signed a $250 million financing agreement with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to support the gas expansion works currently under way at the Khor Mor gas plant in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

DFC is the development finance arm of the U.S government and proceeds from the 7-year DFC financing will support an increase in gas production capacity by 50% to 690 million standard cubic feet (scf)/day to meet rising demand for clean natural gas for electricity generation and industry in the KRI. The total project cost is $630 million and the remaining financing has already been secured through a regional bank facility and the EPC contractor.

The KM-250 project is the first stage of a two-train expansion project at Khor Mor that aims to boost total production capacity to approach 1 billion scf/day. Work resumed in April 2021 after onsite construction was halted last year due to the COVID pandemic and is currently on track for completion by April 2023.

Total investment by Pearl Petroleum at Khor Mor to date exceeds US$2.1 billion with total cumulative production of over 341 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in natural gas and liquids. The uninterrupted supply of gas to power plants in Erbil, Chemchemal and Bazian has resulted in significant fuel cost savings and economic benefits for the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole.

The gas produced to date has enabled emissions savings of 42 million tonnes of CO2 by displacing diesel fuel in power generation in the KRI, thereby making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution in the region as well as supporting the transition to better energy sources to tackle global climate change.

Between 2018 and 2021, the Khor Mor Gas Plant also benefitted from a 45% production increase through an optimization of the facility bringing current total production to 106,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). The project is today the largest regional private sector upstream gas operation in Iraq.

Mr. Majid Jafar (pictured), CEO of Crescent Petroleum and Board Managing Director of Dana Gas, commented:

"This financing agreement with DFC underscores the importance of developing the natural gas resources in the KRI to support regional economic development and growth. Despite the global challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, we have continued to maintain our record of uninterrupted operations and even managed to grow production. The DFC agreement is a testament to our successful track record and further highlights the potential of these resources and the bright future for the KRI."

Dr. Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO of Dana Gas, added:

"With our partners in Pearl Petroleum we are proud to be further developing the gas sector of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, delivering expanded supply of cleaner energy, and supporting local economic development. This agreement underscores our continued confidence in the region and its long-term prospects."

Mr. Dev Jagadesan, Acting CEO of DFC, said:

"DFC's investment in the Khor Mor expansion will substantially increase access to energy for people all across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. This highly developmental project represents the United States' continuing investment in the KRI."

In April 2007, Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum entered into an agreement with the KRG for exclusive rights to appraise, develop, produce, market, and sell petroleum from the Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields in the KRI. Production from a newly built plant at Khor Mor began just 15 months later, in October 2008, an industry record. In 2009, Pearl Petroleum was formed as a consortium with Dana Gas and Crescent Petroleum as the majority shareholders, and with OMV, MOL, and RWE joining the consortium subsequently with a 10% share each.

Full-time staff at the operation number over 500, with over 85% local staff, including many in senior management positions. The companies have implemented a corporate social responsibility program to support local communities with equipment and supplies to deal with the COVID pandemic such as ventilators, sanitizers and protection equipment, in addition to a pledge to donate 100,000 vaccines to be administered in those local communities. This is in addition to ongoing support with local education, health and power supply as well as humanitarian aid for persons displaced from conflict zones as well as orphans. These initiatives assist the local communities in improving their standard of living, health, well-being, security and stability and the development of human capital.

(Source: Dana Gas)

Posted in Iraq Oil & Gas News 0 Comments

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TotalEnergies signs $10bn New Deals in Iraq

TotalEnergies, the Iraqi Ministries for oil and electricity, and the country's National Investment Commission (NIC) have signed, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Iraq, major agreements covering several projects in the Basra region, designed to enhance the development of Iraq's natural resources to improve the country's electricity supply.

Iraq, a country rich in natural resources, is indeed experiencing electricity shortages while it faces a sharp increase in demand from the population.

TotalEnergies, with the support of the Iraqi authorities, on the one hand will invest in installations to recover gas that is being flared on three oil fields and as such supply gas to 1,5 GW of power generation capacity in a first phase growing to 3 GW in a second phase, and, on the other hand, will also develop 1 GWac of solar electricity generation capacity to supply the Basra regional grid.

These agreements include:

  • The construction of a new gas gathering network and treatment units to supply the local power stations, with TotalEnergies also bringing its expertise to optimize the oil and gas production of the Ratawi field, by building and operating new capacities.
  • The construction of a large-scale seawater treatment unit to increase water injection capacities in southern Iraq fields without increasing water withdrawals as the country is currently facing a water-stress situation. This water injection is required to maintain pressure in several fields and as such will help optimizing the production of the natural resources in the Basra region.
  • The construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 1 GWp to supply electricity to the grid in the Basra region.

These projects represent a total investment of approximately $10 billion (100% share).

Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies' Chairman and CEO, said:

"These agreements signal our return through the front door to Iraq, the country where our Company was born in 1924. Our ambition is to assist Iraq in building a more sustainable future by developing access to electricity for its people through a more sustainable use of the country's natural resources such as: reduction of gas flaring that generates air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management and development of solar energy.

"This project perfectly illustrates the new sustainable development model of TotalEnergies, a multi-energy Company which supports producing countries in their energy transition by combining the production of natural gas and solar energy to meet the growing demand for electricity. It also demonstrates how TotalEnergies can leverage its unique position in the Middle East, a region where the lowest-cost hydrocarbons are produced, to gain access to large-scale renewable projects."

(Sources: TotalEnergies, Ministry of Oil)

Posted in Iraq Industry & Trade News, Iraq Oil & Gas News 0 Comments

Voting, Iraq elections, 120518 (Govt of Iraq)

Al-Sadr Reverses Decision to stay Out of Iraqi Elections

By Hassan Ali Ahmed, for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Muqtada al-Sadr reverses decision to stay out of Iraqi elections

After his withdrawal from October elections due to public anger against the ministers of health and electricity - both loyal Sadrist officials - the head of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, decides to participate in the vote after all.

Click here to read the full article.

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PowerChina to Develop 2GW of Solar Power in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq has signed an "agreement of principles" with state-owned PowerChina (Power Construction Corporation of China) to build a 2,000-MW solar power station.

The Director General of the Investments and Contracts Department at the Ministry of Electricity, Mrs. Maha Hamoudi Abdul-Jabbar, signed on behalf of the Iraqi side, while the Deputy General Manager of PowerChina, Mr. Li Dzhi, signed for the Chinese side.

The first phase of the project will have a capacity of 750 MW.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Iraqi Ministry of Electricity

Iraq's Ministry of Electricity gets a Re-Brand

By John Lee.

The Iraqi cabinet has agreed to change the name of the Ministry of Electricity to the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

A draft law enacting the change will be referred to the House of Representatives (parliament).

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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IBBC hosts member event at Al Majal business park

From the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

On Monday 16th August The Al Majal Business Park, Burjessia, generously held a lunch for IBBC members and friends, on behalf of IBBC. The lunch was hosted by Mr Richard Cotton and Mr Mohanad Al Khattab and around 40 guests attended.

Richard Cotton brought greetings from Baroness Nicholson and Christophe Michels (MD) which was succeeded by a presentation given by Al Majal. Following an excellent lunch in the dining room, members and quests mingled over coffee in the delightful coffee shop.

IBBC members appeared to be in optimistic mood, with companies having maneuvered their ways through Covid and now looking forward to an upturn in business supported by the rising oil price and improving business operating conditions.

In broader discussions, whilst business opportunities seem to be improving, many sectors are entering a mature phase and prices for services are being driven down by competition. For example, security vehicle hire, logistics camps room rates and professional services hourly rates are all down to about a third of what they were three or four years ago. Progressive companies are meeting this challenge by training up the Iraqi work force and percentages of expats in all companies are hugely down and probably running at no more than 10 per cent of the work force and work permits for expats are increasingly difficult to obtain.

Members report the banking sector remains extremely inefficient and unfit for purpose and the public sector bureaucracy remains a difficulty for many businesses. The Chinese have taken over much of the oil and gas sector to such an extent that the Government is trying to now limit that involvement and encourage other nationalities to remain, for example, Total from France appears to be currently winning work.

Governance issues remain challenging, but it now seems universally accepted that western companies, policed by their own governments will not tolerate subterfuge. Water and electricity supplies remain a challenge despite increasing capacity in the latter, but waste management and environmental issues are slowly rising up the agenda.

Companies feel increasingly relaxed about personal security, but all the major companies still insist on assisted travel which though as stated above is much cheaper than it was is still a huge unproductive cost for the country.

(Source: IBBC)

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More electricity pylons (Pixabay)

Iran "Suspends" Export of Electricity to Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq's Electricity Minister has reportedly said that Iran has suspended exports of electricity to Iraq on Tuesday.

According to Basnews, the decision is due to reduced water levels feeding hydro-electric plants in Iran.

Iraq had just received a waiver from the US allowing it to continue importing electricity from Iran.

(Source: Basnews)

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electricity pylons 4 (Pixabay)

Iraq gets New Waiver to Import Iranian Electricity

By John Lee.

The US State Department has reportedly granted a new sanctions waiver allowing Iraq to continue importing electricity from Iran for another 120 days.

More here.

(Source: S&P Global)

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