Global terminal operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is further upgrading capacity in Iraq. It has been confirmed that investment in new container terminal infrastructure is now underway at Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) in the Port of Umm Qasr, which opened for business in 2017.
On completion of the current, second phase expansion scheme, ICTSI will have invested in excess of US$ 250 million in Basra port. Current investment will focus on building a new berth and supporting container yard area, as well as acquiring additional container handling equipment.
The BGT expansion project, scheduled to be completed in phases by the third quarter of 2019, will deliver 400 m of new quay with a draft of 14 m alongside, as well a new 30 hectare yard and a 15 hectare secure parking area for trucks.
Three post-panamax ship-to-shore cranes will also be installed along the quay, and seven new RTGs will be brought in to undertake container stacking and handling in the yard area. The latest round of development also includes the acquisition of a cutter suction dredger with the twin objective of ensuring strict adherence to the construction schedule and maintaining the draft alongside the terminal’s new and existing berths.
The design of the expanded facility will allow BGT to handle vessels up to 9000 teu capacity. Upon completion of the second phase the terminal will have an annual handling capacity of more than 1 million teu.
According to ICTSI, the second phase development was triggered by strong levels of demand at the terminal. The first phase of BGT was completed in early 2017 and included the construction of a 250m berth and a 15 hectare yard area on a greenfield site.
In addition ICTST started operations at Basra’s Berth 21 in January this year. This includes a dedicated roll-on, roll-off facility to cater for growth in car traffic and wheeled cargo shipments into Iraq.
Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, says, “We continue to receive strong and most encouraging assistance from the General Company for Ports in Iraq and other government bodies in this respect. We are confident that we can continue to build on this productive partnership to the benefit of port users and the country as a whole.”