International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has projected that its US$100 million expansion for the second major development phase of the Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) will double the terminal's container handling capacity.
An expansion agreement signed by Enrique K. Razon Jr, Chairman & President of ICTSI, aims to develop two new berths and raise BGT's annual container handling capacity by 600,000 TEU to 1.2 million TEU.
ICTSI said that it plans to start work immediately on the terminal, located in North Port, Umm Qasr, Iraq, by equipping the berths with quay and landside container handling systems to handle container vessels of up to 10,000 TEU.
Combined with the adjacent Berth 27, it will offer a continuous berthing line of 600 metres.
Razon said: “This new US$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 US$150 million investment.
“Our commitment to provide international standard port facilities and services in Iraq is plain to see. It also represents the fruit of a positive working relationship with the Iraq Ministry of Transport, General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Governorate of Basra as well as other government agencies.
“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.”
Other signatories to the expansion agreement were Chief Riyadh, GCPI Director, and Eng. Ali Kh. Khalaf, Basra Mas CEO.
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Phillip Marsham, BGT CEO, underlined that the new development will facilitate the desire of ship-owners to introduce larger capacity vessels into the port of Umm Qasr.
He said: “Since we commenced operations at the North Port, Umm Qasr, we have striven to meet the new requirements of ship owners 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 metre berthing line and 50 hectares of yard area.
ICTSI stated that the new container handling systems will work in conjunction with “state-of-the-art” terminal operating systems and benefit from ongoing staff training and continuous improvement of systems.
Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “BGT has raised the bar in container handling service in Umm Qasr and Iraq as a whole.
“The new berths will, through both capacity expansion and the installation of modern infrastructure and handling systems, open the door to even higher levels of efficiency.
“BGT is unique in undertaking hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in Umm Qasr and as a result is able to progressively deliver a superior service to the benefit of Iraqi cargo owners, shipping lines and the Iraq economy as a whole.”