The ability of the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq to receive direct calls from larger container vessels is being progressively enhanced by a new terminal development program at Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT). A significant milestone in this context was recently reached with the call of Evergreen’s 5652 teu Ever Useful. At 285 m in length, the vessel is by far the largest containership to berth at BGT to date.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the occasion, Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Head, highlighted the fact that investments being made by ICTSI in Iraq’s port infrastructure were allowing the country to connect more efficiently with global liner services. “The ability to serve direct calls from large vessels has reduced cost and cargo transit times, and brings other key benefits to cargo importers,” emphasised Madsen.
BGT handled 4,500 teu of containers during the call of the Evergreen vessel, which operates in the Taiwanese company’s Asia-Middle East service, and achieved a net move rate of over 50 moves per hour with a two-quay crane operation. Ever Useful was worked alongside Berth 27 at BGT’s new terminal complex which, upon completion in 2019, will feature a total berth length of 600m, a maximum draught of 14m alongside and a terminal area of 30 hectares.
To support the infrastructure investment, ICTSI is acquiring a significant amount of additional container handling equipment. This includes three super-post-panamax quay cranes and seven additional RTGs for landside handling operations. The investment will allow BGT to handle vessels up to 9000 teu size and will boost the terminal’s annual container handling capacity to over 1 million teu.