Port operator International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has signed the Expansion Agreement for the second major development phase of the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) in North Port, Umm Qasr, Iraq.
Two new berths will be developed incorporating a 20-hectare yard area, thereby raising annual BGT container handling capacity by 600,000 TEU to a total of 1.200,000 TEU, according to ICTSI.
As informed, the berths will be configured and equipped with quay and landside container handling systems enabling it to handle boxships of up to 10,000 TEU. Combined with the adjacent Berth 27, it will offer a continuous berthing line of 600 meters.
“This new USD 100 million investment follows hot on the heels of ICTSI’s development of Berth 27 and the rehabilitation and upgrade of berths 19, 20 & 21, a USD 150 million investment. Our commitment to provide international standard port facilities and services in Iraq is plain to see,” Enrique K. Razon Jr, Chairman & President of ICTSI, commented, adding that the investment is a result of a collaboration with the Iraq Ministry of Transport, General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Governorate of Basra, among others.
“This combined effort will, when the new facilities are completed in 18 months time, deliver the new facilities that are essential to support Iraq’s key economic objectives including the resurgence of the non-oil economy,” Razon further said.
The new USD 100 million investment will be undertaken by ICTSI’s subsidiary BGT, with the construction scheduled to start immediately.
Phillip Marsham, BGT’s CEO, stressed that the new development will facilitate the desire of shipowners to introduce larger capacity vessels into the port of Umm Qasr: “Since we commenced operations at the North Port, Umm Qasr, we have striven to meet the new requirements of shipowners and deliver international standard services. The development of Berth 27, formally inaugurated in October 2016, represented enormous progress in this respect and the current expansion project will consolidate and expand this important work. Like other ports worldwide, Umm Qasr is now facing the challenge of handling larger size vessels.”
When fully developed, Berths 25, 26 and 27 will offer a continuous 600-meter berthing line and 50 hectares of yard area. The new container handling systems will work in conjunction with terminal operating systems, as explained by ICTSI.
Based and established in Manila in 1988, ICTSI operates 31 terminals in 19 countries.