Port of Umm Qasr receives big boost
International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) has formally inaugurated two new berths at the Port of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s main dry cargo port, giving the facility the ability to handle container vessels of up to 14,000TEU.
The inauguration ceremony marked both the opening for business of the two new berths, Berths 25 and 26, and the completion of ICTSI’s overall US$250 million investment programme at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).
Located in Umm Qasr’s North Port, BGT operates a high capacity container terminal together with specialised facilities for the handling of general cargo, ro-ro, dry bulk and project cargo for the oil and gas sector.
Earlier development included the construction of Berth 27, adjacent to the new berths, with the three berths now offering a combined continuous berth length of 600m. Design depth alongside Berths 25 and 26 is 14 meters.
The two new berths are extensively fitted out with state-of-the-art container handling equipment and I.T. systems. Three new quayside gantry cranes, each with an outreach of 56 meters and able to handle up to 21 rows of containers on the deck of a vessel, are installed on the quayside. On the landside seven new, six high stacking, rubber-tired gantries (RTGs) join three existing units bringing the total fleet to 10 RTGs.
A number of senior government officials attended the inauguration ceremony including Dr. Safaa Al-Fayyadh, Director General of the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Chief Atheal Abid Ali Salman, North Port Director, Umm Qasr, together with Enrique K. Razon, Chairman & President, ICTSI.
Speaking at the time Mr Razon underlined: “ICTSI’s completion of our multi-phase USD250 million investment programme highlights our commitment to Iraq and our readiness to meet the challenge of providing much needed, brand new, port infrastructure and handling technology.
“We are pleased to lead the way for Umm Qasr to serve higher capacity container vessels, up to and including the so-called ‘New Panamax’ class (14,000TEU), and as a result to open the door for cargo importers and exporters to benefit from substantial scale economies.”
Phillip Marsham, Chief Executive Officer, BGT said on the occasion of the inauguration: “This is the start of a new era in Iraq’s Port industry.
“As Iraq’s economy continues to grow, it is imperative to create the necessary port capacity for the future. ICTSI is proud to lead the way in this field and to be the No 1 private sector investor in new port capacity supporting economic growth in Iraq.”
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