International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) today formally opened the first phase of its new greenfield terminal development at its Basra Gateway Terminal in the North Port, Umm Qasr, Iraq.
The official inauguration of the new facility marks the successful implementation of the first entirely foreign financed development of new port infrastructure in Iraq.
The Hon. Minister of Transport for Iraq, Kadhem Finjan al-Hamami was in attendance as Enrique K. Razon Jr, ICTSI Chairman and President, formally cut the ribbon, symbolising the opening of the terminal after which the first container was lifted by one of the two new ship-to-shore cranes installed at the terminal.
Mr. Razon emphasised ICTSI’s commitment to Iraq, said:
“Today represents a milestone in the development of Iraq’s shipping infrastructure. ICTSI’s commitment to Iraq is evidenced in major investments in the upgrade of existing berths 19, 20 and the construction of the new terminal incorporating Berth 27. Modern and reliable infrastructure, equipped with state-of-the-art quayside and landside handling systems is critical for sustainable economic growth. We are confident the new terminal area will boost efficiency and speed the movement of import and export cargo supporting the rapid growth in Iraq’s economy.”
When fully developed, the new terminal area will comprise 600 meters of quay and 50 hectares of yard area. Total investment for the first phase development is US$130 million.
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by senior representatives of the growing portfolio of shipping lines now using Basra Gateway Terminal.