US consortium signs US$14 million deal to modernise Iraqi port

Port-basraIraq has signed a deal with an US consortium to modernise the Maqal Port. (Image source: Ben Salter/Flickr) Iraq has signed an US$14mn deal with a US consortium to modernise the Maqal Port in the country's southern province of Basra

As part of the 10-year agreement with a consortium led by North America Western Asia Holdings (NAWAH), the companies will invest in a new heavy-lift crane as well as container handling capabilities and build a modern container yard in one of the 14 berths in the Maqal Port on Shatt al-Arab waterway.

“The modernisation of Maqal Port is an important step in helping Basra regain its status as a key regional trading hub,” NAWAH said in a statement.

Paul Brinkley, president and chief executive officer of NAWAH, remarked, “The speed at which Iraq can rebuild and become prosperous is greatly dependent upon the capacity of its ports.

“The modernisation of Maqal Port is an important step in helping Basra regain its status as a key regional trading hub.”

With Umm Qasr Port, Iraq’s only other modern port, some 64km away from downtown Basra, the new venture will provide a full spectrum of companies representing Basra’s merchant community and industrial base with closer accessibility to a containerised berth.

Hadi Al-Amiri, Iraqi minister of transportation, added, “Modernising Maqal Port is one step in Iraq’s greater vision to improve and expand our country’s shipping and port capabilities.”

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