Port terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) expects to spend over $250 million in Iraq for a new berth, yard and state-of-the-art equipment as part of the second phase of development of its pioneering port infrastructure in Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) at the Port of Umm Qasr.
The phase two expansion, to be completed by the third quarter of 2019, will deliver 400 meters of new quay with a draft of 14 meters, alongside a new 30-hectare yard area and a 15-hectare secure parking area, ICTSI said in press statement on Thursday.
Three post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes will likewise be installed along the quay and seven rubber tired gantries (RTG) will provide state-of-the-art stacking and handling power in the yard area. The overall design provides for handling container vessels of up to 9,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity. Upon completion of the second phase, BGT will have an annual handling capacity of over one million TEUs.
ICTSI said the second phase development was triggered by strong demand, in turn attributed to “high service levels and modern facilities” offered by BGT to shipping lines and cargo owners.
The latest round of development also includes the acquisition of a cutter suction dredger with the dual objective of ensuring strict adherence to the construction schedule and maintaining draft alongside the terminal’s new and existing births, the company said.
“We are listening to our customers and are proactively meeting their needs,” said Phillip Marsham, BGT executive officer.
“The second phase expansion will not only allow us to respond immediately to scale needs, but also deliver added flexibility to the whole container handling operation with diverse benefits flowing to our customers,” he added.
In the first quarter of 2017, BGT completed the first phase of its terminal greenfield project, which included the construction of a new 250-meter berth and a 15-hectare yard area.
Last year also saw BGT’s expansion of its service portfolio with the development of quay and yard areas configured for the safe and efficient handling of oil and gas project cargoes, allowing BGT to establish successful partnerships with the oil and gas industry.
Operations at Berth 21 likewise commenced in January 2018, introducing a dedicated roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) facility, where international standard operational practices remain.
“Our commitment to helping Iraq develop international standard port infrastructure continues to expand,” said Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
“We invested for the long term in fixed infrastructure since day one. 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,” Madsen underlined.
ICTSI expects its $250 million investment in BGT to progressively deliver world-class multipurpose cargo handling facilities and unparalleled efficiencies to the Port of Umm Qasr, including the capability to service larger, new generation box ships.