Iraq ports seeing expansion to handle more cargo

 Port expansion is underway in Iraq to help that country handle more container ships as the economy recovers. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Port expansion is underway in Iraq to help that country handle more container ships as the economy recovers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Manila-based container conglomerate International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has confirmed plans to develop Iraq’s port sector through a second phase of development. The port infrastructure found at the Port of Umm Qasr at the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) is in the middle of construction. Once completed, this part of the terminal is expected to handle additional freight containers.

ICTSI’s investment in the project is estimated at no less than $250 million. The amount was computed based on the completed parts of the expansion project’s second phase. Large scale investment was intended for the project for funding a new berth and accommodating “state-of-the-art handling equipment” that the terminal badly needed to handle larger freight volume.

The second phase’s estimated completion time is sometime in the third quarter of 2019. By then, a new quay spanning 400 meters with draft at 14 meters will be seen alongside the yard area spanning 30 hectares wide. Parking space will be ample with about 15 hectares already reserved.

The quay’s metrics is built to serve as a base for the port-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes. State-of-the-art stacking is attributed to its seven rubber tired gantries (RTG) capable of 9,000 TEU capacity.

ICTSI’s investment at the BGT was spurned by rising demand. The company saw the potential in this part of Iraq to handle port upgrades that match the Port of Umm Qasr’s modern facilities.

BGT’s Executive Officer, Phillip Marsham, explained its part in the fortifying the terminal. “We are listening to our customers and are proactively meeting their needs. The second phase expansion will not only allow us to respond immediately to scale needs, but also deliver added flexibility to the whole container handling operation with diverse benefits flowing to our customers.”

The first phase of the BGT expansion included partially completing the terminal’s greenfield project. It included putting up a 250-meter berth to go with a yard area 15 hectares wide.

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