The development of Phase 2 of Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) at the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s main shipping trade gateway on the Persian Gulf coast, is well underway by Philippine’s port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI).
According to the company, the Phase 2 expansion will be completed in stages by Q3 2019 and will mark an investment of over USD250 mln, the most part of it is allocated for the construction of a new container terminal berth and yard and in the state-of-the-art handling equipment.
In Q1 2017, BGT finalized Phase 1 of its greenfield project, which included the construction of a new 250m berth and a 15-hectare yard area for a terminal with a capacity of 300,000 TEU. Now the current development will deliver a new quay of 400m more with a draft of 14m, alongside a new 30-hectare yard area and a 15-hectare secure parking area. Upon completion, the terminal will have an annual handling capacity of over 1 mln TEU.
Within Phase 2, three post-Panamax STS cranes will be installed on the quay, and seven RTG cranes 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 capacity.
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 berths.
The Phase 2 expansion was triggered by a strong demand. “We are listening to our customers and are proactively meeting their needs,” says Phillip Marsham, BGT executive officer. According to him, the new development will “deliver added flexibility to the whole container handling operation with diverse benefits flowing to our customers.”
Last year BGT expanded its service portfolio by providing the quay and yard areas for the safe and efficient handling of oil and gas project cargoes, thus establishing successful partnerships with the oil and gas industry.
In January 2018, the terminal started operations at Berth 21 introducing a dedicated Ro-Ro facility with international standard operational practices.
Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior VP and regional head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, says: “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.”
ICTSI signed a contract with the General Company for Ports in Iraq in April 2014 to manage, operate and rehabilitate terminal facilities in North Port Umm Qasr and to develop and expand container handling capacity via new infrastructure development.