Cabinet commits resources to Dhi Qar province

The Iraqi Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting in the city Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar province on Monday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the people of Dhi Qar had sacrificed much for Iraq, but they have suffered from the consequences of past marginalisation. He affirmed that this government is determined to address the challenges facing the province.

Following discussions, the Cabinet approved several measures to improve services and boost investment in Dhi Qar, including:

  • Establish Dhi Qar Reconstruction Council to oversee the implementation of key projects in the province
  • Establish a working group to review all delayed and incomplete projects in Dhi Qar to ensure that work on these projects is resumed, giving a priority to projects that have direct impact on the lives of citizens. The working group will be chaired by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, with the membership of the Governor of Dhi Qar, the Deputy Minister of Planning, the Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Municipalities, and representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Electricity, Oil and Education
  • Grant the Governor of Dhi Qar the necessary powers to oversee the construction of new roads, rehabilitation of water purification plants, and the rehabilitation and maintenance of hospitals and health centres
  • Direct the Ministry of Oil to allocate 500 million dinars annually to the Heart Centre in Dhi Qar and to the local Health Department
  • Direct the Ministry of Communications to allocate 10 billion dinars to Dhi Qar
  • Direct the Ministry of Health to provide hospitals in the province with medical equipment and supplies
  • Direct the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research to follow up on the progress of Al-Shatra University Project which was established in 2013
  • Direct the Agricultural Bank, the Housing Fund and the Industrial Bank to simplify the procedures for granting loans to the people of Dhi Qar because of the exceptional circumstances facing the province
  • Expedite the completion of Dhi Qar Industrial City and Dhi Qar Refinery
  • Expedite the construction of school buildings and hospitals with a high completion rate

The Cabinet also approved several technical and administrative measures related to Dhi Qar aimed at delivering tangible and rapid improvement across a number of key public services.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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JGC signs Contract for Basra Refinery Upgrade

By John Lee.

Yesterday (Thursday), the South Refineries Company (SRC) and Iraq's Ministry of Oil (MOO) signed the contract with Japan's JGC Corporation to start construction of a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Complex at Basrah Refinery.

The project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s ODA (Official Development Assistance) loan project.

The contract ceremony was successfully held at the Governmental Palace with the presence of H.E. Mr. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismael, Minister of Oil, H.E. Dr. Eng. Khaled Battal Najim Abdullah Al-Jujifi, Minister of Planning, Mr. Husam Hussein Weli, Director General, SRC, Mr. Shu Nakagawa, Charge d'Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in Iraq, Mr. Yutaka Yamazaki, President of JGC Corporation, and Mr. Kei Toyama, Chief Representative of JICA Iraq Office.  At the sideline of the ceremony, H.E. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi hosted the meeting with the participants.

For this project named "Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project (I)(II)", JICA has so far concluded three loan agreements for:

  1. engineering services loan in the amount of JPY 2,079 million [$20 million];
  2. first tranche loan in the amount of JPY 42,435 million [$403 million]; and,
  3. second tranche loan of JPY 110,000 million [$1.04 billion].

This project is the largest Japanese ODA loan project in Iraq. Under the assistance of JICA's concessional loans (low interest rate at 0.20% and the repayment period of 40 years including 10-year grace period). It is expected to be completed in 2025.

According to a statement from JICA, the project to construct Iraq's first-ever FCC Complex will unleash the potential of Iraq's refining sector to produce the larger volume of the high-value outputs, promote the transfer of refining technologies from Japan and help save valuable foreign currencies to import huge amount of fuels.

It says the new plant will also reduce sulfur content in the oil products in accordance with the international environmental standards, adding:

"The project is expected to pave the way for energizing private sector involvement in the downstream of Iraq's energy industry and provide economic and employment opportunities for the people of Iraq, especially in Basrah.

"JICA looks forward to the collaborative efforts made by Iraqi government and the contractor to overcome every challenge to be encountered during project implementation, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  JICA reaffirms its commitment to making every possible means to support in delivering the project benefits and realizing its effectiveness."

(Source: JICA)

The post JGC signs Contract for Basra Refinery Upgrade first appeared on Iraq Business News.

Eni to Invest $4bn in Iraqi Refinery?

By John Lee.

Italian oil company ENI is reported to be in talks to build a $4-billion, 300,000-bpd refinery near Iraq's Zubair oil field.

S&P Global quotes Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael [Ahsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail] as saying that that the first phase, with a capacity of 150,000 bpd, would be operational by 2025.

The Minster reportedly added that the Zubair field, in which Eni holds a stake, is expected to produce 700,000 bpd by 2027.

Click here to read the full article.

(Source: S&P Global)

The post Eni to Invest bn in Iraqi Refinery? first appeared on Iraq Business News.

KfW Bank supports Construction of 4 Hospitals in Iraq

The number of cases of COVID-19-infected persons is also rapidly increasing in Iraq. The peak of the disease is expected in autumn. At least four new hospitals are to be built in the country's largest cities by then.

KfW is financing the construction on behalf of the German government with an initial amount of EUR 15 million. The contract was signed 23 July 2020.

At the end of April lockdown and corona restrictions were lifted in Iraq. Since then the number of cases has risen sharply. A peak in infections is expected in autumn, which will overburden the infrastructure of the health care facilities.

By then, almost 50,000 beds in hospitals, including 12,000 intensive care beds, will be needed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients alone. In Iraq, however, there are only just under 50,000 hospital beds at all, including about 700 intensive care beds.

To support the Iraqi health system KfW is financing the construction of at least four hospitals on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with an initial EUR 15 million. It is being examined whether further hospitals can be financed in a further phase.

A simulation of the course of infection according to a WHO model showed that the conurbations will suffer the highest case numbers. Therefore, four hospitals are planned in the major cities of Baghdad, Basra, Niniveh and Süleymaniye.

They will initially be built as temporary hospitals in modular prefabricated construction, but in the long term they can serve as regular hospitals. Each hospital will have 100 beds, including 40 intensive care beds. In the short term, more than 7,000 patients will benefit directly. But the separate treatment of COVID-19 patients in separate facilities is beneficial for all patients in the country, because otherwise isolation could not be guaranteed.

"This is a quick and lean response to the pandemic in Iraq, but we have to win the race against time and build the hospitals before case numbers continue to escalate," stresses KfW portfolio manager Moritz Remé. After many years of armed conflict the need for reconstruction in Iraq is particularly high. Income from the oil business has fallen due to the sharp drop in prices in recent months. Help from Germany is therefore urgently needed in Iraq.

(Source: KfW)

UK Drops Unaoil-related Probe into ABB

By John Lee.

The UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigation into ABB linked to the Unaoil case.

After a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The SFO announced its investigation into ABB Ltd in February 2017 following a self-report by representatives acting on behalf of the company.

(Source: UK SFO)

Iraq Considers Reopening Cement Plants

The Higher Committee for Health and National Safety held a meeting in Baghdad on Monday via video conferencing under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi.

The Committee reviewed and evaluated current measures to combat Covid-19 and received briefings from the Ministry of Health, specialists and officials from relevant ministries.

The Prime Minister commended the high degree of coordination between relevant government departments and the crisis cells across the country, which he said contributed to enabling Iraq to make progress in combating the coronavirus pandemic.

'Odd-even' rule for vehicles:

The Higher Committee decided that, based on even and odd numbered license plates, vehicles will be allowed on roads and public highways on alternate days. This measure comes into force on Tuesday 05 May 2020.

Helping families to return home:

The Higher Committee discussed how to assist families who, because of curfew and restrictions on movements, have been unable to travel between Iraqi provinces to return to their home.

The Committee said it is considering easing some restrictions for one day only to enable these families to return to their home towns, adding that it will make an announcement on this issue soon.

Restarting Iraq's cement plants:

The Higher Committee also discussed plans to restart Iraq's cement manufacturing plants to meet the needs of the local market and to maintain price stability.

Stay at home:

The Higher Committee called on all Iraqis to continue to stay at home, to go out only when absolutely necessary, and to comply with physical distancing rules.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Iraq 2020 – Discovering Business

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Iraq Business News is delighted to make this guide available to readers in pdf format: Please click here to view or download the full document.

ALE acquired by Mammoet

By John Lee.

UK-based heavy lifting company ALE has been acquired by Dutch company Mammoet BV.

ALE has worked on several major projects in Iraq, including Kerbala Refinery, and the oil fields at Majnoon, West Qurna 1 and 2, and Zubair.

ING acted as financial advisor to Mammoet.

(Sources: ALE, Mammoet)

Iraq seeks bids for Iraq-Jordan Oil Pipeline

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited bids fto build the Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline.

The first phase will be built on the Iraqi side, stretching 700 km from Rumaila to Haditha. This will have a capacity of 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd). This will be built on an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) contract model.

The second phase, on the Jordanian side, will run 900 km from Haditha to the port of Aqaba. This section will be built on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.

Bids will be accepted from qualified companies up to the end of May, with a decision to be made by the end of 2020.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

Iraq Buys More Pipes from Turkey

By John Lee.

Turkish mills’ pipe exports to Iraq have reportedly risen by 10.3 percent year-on-year for the first three quarters of this year.

According to S&P Global Platts, Iraq bought 139,000 mt of steel pipe during the period.

(Source: S&P Global Platts)