Ongoing Iraq Progress (older archive)

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20 Sep 2011 IRNA
 

485,000 tons of commodities exported via Mehran border point to Iraq

Mehran - Some 485, 000 tons of commodities, worth dlrs 155 million, were exported via Mehran border crossing in Ilam province to Iraq during the first six months of current Iranian year (started March 21). Talking to IRNA, Mehran Governor Valiallah Hayati added the figure indicates a 79 percent increase in terms of weight.


Hayati said over 26,000 lorries carry Iranian-made commodities to Iraq, noting the commodities mainly includes fruits, Iran Khodro and Saipa Diesel products and construction materials.

Mehran border point is one of the main border crssings for pilgrims and also trade exchanges between Iran and Iraq.

Mehran city is located 85 kilometers southwest of Ilam, the provincial capital of Ilam Province.
© IRNA 

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17 Sep 2011

 Press Release

Kuwait Energy Optimistic About Oil and Gas Opportunities in Iraq and Egypt










Abu Dhabi-UAE: 17 September, 2011 - In a recent interview on oil and gas opportunities in the region, Kuwait Energy Comny

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Senior Vice President for Iraq Mr. Mohammed Aboush said that the Company is committed to the development of oil and gas reserves in Iraq and Egypt for the benefit of both countries. He noted the Middle East and North Africa regions have immense opportunities to offer.

Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy

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is one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas companies in the Middle East, operating in eight countries in the MENA and Eurasia regions.

The interview discussed a broad spectrum of topics including the latest developments on the Mansuriya and Siba gas fields in Iraq, Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy
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's approach towards infrastructure, security and resourcing challenges facing industry operators in Iraq, its expectations from Iraq's fourth bidding round which takes place early next year, and the Company's recent hydrocarbons discoveries in Egypt.

Last June, Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy

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signed the development contracts for the Siba and Mansuriya gas fields in Iraq, with Joint Management Committees (JMC) formed for both fields shortly after. The company and its partners were awarded 20-year term gas development contracts for these two fields in Iraq's third bidding round held in October 2010.

"The first meeting of the Siba JMC has taken place, where the interim work program and budget were presented. As for Mansuriya, the first JMC meeting is expected to be held in October 2011. This marks the beginning of a long-term partnership with Iraq, and a step forward in Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations. We are very excited to start participating in the development of the country's natural gas resources. The gas will be utilized to generate power in Baghdad and Basra, providing the Iraqi Government with cost savings, an environmentally friendlier fuel and the opportunity to better serve its people as per its overall plan," said Mr. Aboush.

A challenge for Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy

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is the availability of local, technically proficient talent. With two bidding rounds previously completed in Iraq, Iraqi skilled professionals in the industry have now become rarer.

"That won't stop us from looking," said Mr. Aboush. "Our aim is to have an Iraqi team comprising Iraqi nationals, working on Iraqi wells. We have already filled some key positions and are very optimistic about finding the right talent. We are always looking for talented and skilled industry professionals to join our team in Iraq and across all our countries of operations as well."

Iraq today still has national problems to address such as a lack of gas infrastructure and other security concerns, making it difficult for foreign companies to invest in the country.

Mr. Aboush said: "We are actually part of the solution to the gas infrastructure problem. Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy
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is responsible for building gas processing facilities in line with the Gas Development and Production Service Contract (GDPSC) requirements signed with the Iraqi government. We are very optimistic about this."

On matters of security, Mr. Aboush said: "On-ground security situation in Iraq is improving dramatically day-by-day, especially in Basra and surrounding areas. Having said that, the security situation is not optimal yet, but we are confident that the situation will continue to improve, thanks to the efforts of the national and local governments. On our part, we undertook a full safety evaluation as part of the Company's due diligence for bids. The security and safety of our team security and the communities we are part of is very important for us in Iraq, and across all our areas of operation.

Mr. Aboush then commented on the fourth bidding round by the Ministry of Oil in Iraq. He said: "Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy

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is very positive about the concept of expanding its Iraqi operations further and has recently completed its road show activity for the fourth bidding round. The Company is now forming its opinion on the specific blocks offered."

Meanwhile, Kuwait EnergyKuwait Energy

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recently announced it has discovered hydrocarbons in Egypt, in the GPZZ-4 and Al Ahmadi-1 wells located in its Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert.

"Tests are still ongoing on both wells," said Mr. Aboush. "These two discoveries bring the total number of discoveries we've made in Egypt to 13, reflecting Kuwait Energy









's commitment to contributing to Egypt's hydrocarbons industry. We have had continued success in structuring a well-diversified portfolio in Egypt with assets from different classes, ranging from frontier exploration to brown field acreage."

Mr. Aboush will participate with other high level speakers in the Iraq 2011: Future Energy forum and discuss and debate over four days the opportunities and challenges faced by those operating and investing in one of the world's most challenging, yet lucrative, markets, Iraq.

When asked about the significance of Iraq 2011: Future Energy, Mr. Aboush replied: "This is a great opportunity for the oil and gas industry players to discuss and share their views on energy investments, regulations, the development of infrastructure and technology, all with the aim of building a better Iraq."

Organized by The Energy Exchange, Iraq 2011: Future Energy will take place from the 26-29 of September 2011, at the Elite World Istanbul Hotel in Turkey.

-Ends-

Event website: http://www.theenergyexchange.co.uk/iraq11

For media enquiries please contact:
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E s.mehta@theenergyexchange.co.uk

© Press Release 2011


 

'Iraq's Provocative Stance On Port Project Surprising'Arab Times

Iraqis Should Be Grateful To Kuwait: Al-Baghli
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 6: It is surprising that Iraq has continued to issue provocative statements on the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port project even if Kuwait played a crucial role in liberating the Iraqis from the claws of Saddam Hussein, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily quoting former minister and lawmaker Ali Al-Baghli.

 Al-Baghli lamented the Iraqis have not even thanked Kuwait for helping them get rid of the tyrant; instead they keep on instigating conflicts with Kuwait. He said all those who have alienated Kuwait were either killed or executed.

He argued several countries share water passages but they have not witnessed any crisis similar to that of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port project. He believes there is no problem in allowing Iraq to participate in the commercial activities at the port.

On the proposed investment of the Kuwaiti compensation in Iraq, Al-Baghli said there is no problem in the implementation of this proposal provided the investment is well-protected from any attempt to seize it. 

Condemning the Iraqi Hezbollah for firing missiles at Kuwait, Al-Baghli underscored the need for Kuwait to be vigilant and to take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent such attacks. He added the group has nothing in mind but to wreak havoc in the region.

Meanwhile, the UK called on Iraq meanwhile to build better and strong relations with southern neighbors, Kuwait.

British Ambassador to Iraq Michael Aron said in a press release by the embassy that better relations with neighboring states would enable Iraq to exit Chapter Seven of the United Nations' statute.

He called on Iraq to resolve the issue of the Mubarak Al-Kabir seaport with Kuwait in a way that ensures the rights of both countries.

Kuwait announced plans back in 2007, when Iraq was deep in a sectarian war, to build the $1.1 billion Mubarak al-Kabir port on Bubiyan Island, one of the biggest islands in the Gulf.

But it wasn't until the Kuwaitis laid the cornerstone in April that Iraqis really noticed.

The accusations flew fast and furious that Kuwait was trying to strangle Iraq's shipping channels and scuttle a planned Iraqi port project. In response, the Kuwaitis claim their project could benefit the whole region and accuse Iraqi opponents of risking years of slowly improved relations.

Recently, dozens of Iraqi protesters gathered less than 300 yards (meters) from the Kuwaiti border to denounce the port plans. Kuwait's interior minister, Sheik Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, warned that security forces would have "zero tolerance" for any cross-border protest attempts, according to the official Kuwait News Agency.

The dispute, too, mirrors the wider apprehensions around the region.

Kuwait and other Gulf Arab states are deeply worried about widening Iranian influence in the Arab world, particularly Tehran's close ties with Iraq's Shiite-led government. Iran made its views on the port known through Kataib Hezbollah, a Shiite militia group funded and controlled by Iran that operates in Iran. The group in July warned companies working on the port to stop and said the project would "besiege the Iraqi economy."

But it's not just Shiites who oppose the plan. Politicians across Iraq's political spectrum have rallied against it -- reflecting fears that Iraq's access to the lucrative Gulf shipping trade will be cut off just as the country is regaining its economic footing.

Iraq's only sea access is through a narrow strip of water going from the Gulf to the port of Umm Qasr. Iraqis question why Kuwait with its hundreds of miles of coastline positioned its port where it directly juts into Iraq's only access to the sea.

Already Iraq's access to Umm Qasr is dependent on Kuwaiti largesse. The border that was negotiated after Saddam's forces were evicted from Kuwait drew a line straight through the narrow waterway. But that's not the way ships travel. Instead, they need to traverse the deepest point of the channel, which sometimes snakes into Kuwaiti territory.

Iraqis are worried Kuwait's port plans will clog an already crowded waterway and make it difficult for ships to get to Iraqi ports. It also competes with a port Iraq plans to build on al-Faw peninsula opposite Bubiyan Island.

"The effect of Mubarak port on al-Faw port would be a jam of vessels and ships in this area that would risk the stoppage of ships," said deputy chairman of the Basra Provincial Council Ahmed al-Sulaiti. Basra province includes Umm Qasr and Iraq's small coast.

Al-Sulaiti said the waves created from the movement of ships at the Mubarak port could halt or close work at al-Faw port.

For Kuwait, the port is seen as a critical step in restoring the country's status as a center for international commerce and investment, which has largely migrated to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the past two decades.

Kuwait envisions the port as a type of regional free-trade shipping and commercial hub also used by Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia -- although none have so far expressed interest.

The project would be among the largest in the Gulf and could one day rival Abu Dhabi and Dubai as a transit hub between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Kuwaiti authorities say the port is expected to begin operations in 2015 as one of the first steps in a $100 billion vision to create a network of commerical zones and skyscrapers modeled after other Gulf mega-projects.
© Arab Times 2011



Iraq panel ratifies $13b liquefied gas deal with Shell, Mitsubishi

Tuesday, Sep 06, 2011

Gulf NewsGulf News

Abu Dhabi The Iraqi Higher Energy Committee yesterday ratified a liquefied gas agreement with Shell and Mitsubishi to upgrade energy facilities and to make use of gas in southern Iraq with a $13 billion (Dh45.5 billion) in investments over 25 years.

The agreement is awaiting final approval.

“The execution of the project will start in the first quarter of 2012 and will yield $30 billion in returns to the Iraqi government and save $40 billion for the Iraqi economy by turning from burning oil to the use of natural gas,” said an official.

He said the joint venture will cost $13 billion, to be paid directly by Shell and Mitsubishi and indirectly by the Iraqi government over ten years, turning Iraq into a leading producer of liquefied gas in the region. Iraq will hold 51 per cent of the project, Shell 44 per cent and Mitubishi five per cent.

Exports

The project will help Iraq to export liquefied natural gas to world markets.

This will eliminate the need for gas imports from Iran and other countries and will help operate power stations at full capacity to provide southern Iraq with power.

This joint venture is being called Basra Gas, said a statement by the Ministry of Energy, which added that the production is especially targeted for the cities in the south.

Production

The statement added that the venture will make use of 7,000 metric tonnes of LNG to produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity.

The joint venture will provide power for more than 20,000 houses.

“The project enable Iraq to make use of more than 700 million cubic feet per day of gas which is now being burnt in the southern oilfields of Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna,” it added.

By Shehab Al Makahleh?Staff Reporter

© Gulf News 2011. All rights reserved.


06 Sep 2011 Press Release
Alstom Grid wins €66 million gas-insulated substation contract in Iraq
Alstom Grid, the global expert in electrical grid performance, has been awarded a €66 million contract with Iraq's Ministry of ElectricityMinistry of Electricity - Directorate General of Electrical Transmission Projects to design, manufacturer and install the Mosul East gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substation.

This is Alstom Grid's first contract to be signed directly with the Ministry of ElectricityMinistry of Electricity since 2003, and the company's second major win in Iraq this year. In May, Alstom Grid was chosen by Calik Energy to supply two GIS substations connecting the new Al-Khairat and Nainawa power plants being built in Iraq to the transmission grid.

This latest turnkey project, including a 400kV/132kV/11kV GIS substation, power transformers, site supervision and civil works, is key to the electrical network expansion in the Mosul Governorate. With the Iraq steadily increasing its power generation capacity, Alstom Grid's leading technology will allow the country to strengthen its transmission system, providing a more efficient and dependable supply of electricity.

Grégoire Poux-Guillaume, Alstom Grid President, said: "We are extremely pleased that the Ministry of ElectricityMinistry of Electricity has chosen to partner with Alstom for this important project. Alstom is firmly committed to supporting Iraq's economic development by providing its global expertise and field proven electrical grid technologies for its infrastructure, oil & gas and utility projects."

Alstom Grid will manufacture the GIS equipment in France and Switzerland. Commissioning of the project is due in 2013.

About Alstom
Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world. It provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 92,000 people in 100 countries and had sales of €20.9 billion in 2010/11.

Alstom Grid has over 100 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to its customers' projects. Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of more than €4 billion. It has 20,000 employees and over 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide. At the heart of the development of Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chain--from power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user.

Press contact
Emmanuelle Helleux (Alstom Grid)
Tel : +33 1 47 01 70 87
emmanuelle.helleux@alstom.com

Walter Dussaucy (Alstom - Dubai)
Tel : +971 5 6681 3967
walter.dussaucy@alstom.com

Website www.alstom.com

06 Sep 2011

Farming Complex for Suleymanieh Iran Daily
Head of Kurdestan Agricultural Jihad Organization has said that the establishment of agro-industry complex in the Iraqi province of Suleymanieh is on the organization's agenda and 20 experts have conducted preliminary studies on the project.

Ebrahim Hassan-Nejad said on Saturday evening that given Iran's experience and the potentials of Shahr-e Zoor Plain in Suleymanieh province, the project is expected to be profitable, IRNA reported.

He added that feasibility study will be concluded in the next three days and the results will be presented in a meeting of the governors of the two provinces next month.

Preliminary studies by expert groups in the agriculture sector showed that Suleymanieh province had sufficient capacities for the project.

He added that 250 hectares had been allocated for cultivation in the first phase. Due to the severe heat in the Kurdistan region, some crops cannot be cultivated, Hassan-Nejad stated.
© Iran Daily 2011

05 Sep 2011 Aswat Aliraq
Kurdish government rejects draft Oil and Gas Law , spokesman
ARBIL: Spokesman of Kurdistan Presidency announced today the rejection of the oil and gas law, calling the Iraqi Parliament and the Cabinet to reject the draft because it does not coincide with the original draft agreed to with all political entities.
In a statement, the spokesman said "we denounce this maneuver, so we call the cabinet to withdraw the draft law immediately, because it does not coincide with the constitution and the legal procedure with the cabinet itself".

"Following the absence of a federal oil policy for more than six years, and unjustified escape of political agreements, we are astonished, now, by the behavior of the cabinet to pass a law which we did not agree upon", the statement added.

On the other hand, Iraqi cabinet decided to approve the oil and gas draft law and referred to the parliament for endorsement, pointing out it was the only draft law, thus abrogating all previous ones.

© Aswat Aliraq 2011


05 Sep 2011

Iraq's August exports of oil hit 68 m bpdAK News

By Dilshad Siafaddin
 
Sulaimaniyah - Iraq's August crude oil export hit 68 million bpd, an increase of about 1% from previous month's 67.2 million bpd wit a total revenue of US$7.31 billion.

Akram Mu'tassam, deputy Iraqi Oil Minister told AKnews that the average daily oil export was 2.189 million barrels sold at approximately US$108.8
© AK News 2011

Iraq is a project of economic reform with the participation of 7 international organizations Posted: September 5, 2011 by THE CURRENCY NEWSHOUND

September 5 2011

Staff / Yasser Hussein incumbent Tgb
Approved the advisers in the Cabinet the institution of high-level that would develop projects economic solution and placed in the hands of the Council acknowledged the existence of the challenges impeding the process of transformation from a centralized to an open system, although it was an item constitutional guarantees to the private sector an active role in driving economic activity in the country.

This came during a panel discussion titled (and the vision of the role of the advisers in the prime minister in the government’s support for the Iraqi private sector), organized by the Iraqi Business Council in the Ramadan evening was the last day of Ramadan.

The presence of an active Broad participation and active for a number of officials including members of parliament and chairman of the consultants Thamer Ghadhban and Hussain Anbuge economic advisor and the advisor industrial d.Hamid Anbari and chairman of the national investment d.Sami Araji but reflected the interest and the vision that carried the title of the seminar.

The morning and accompanied the economic loop, where a dedicated team began with a welcoming to the Iraqi Business Council Chairman Ibrahim Baghdadi and reviewed the march of the Iraqi private sector and its role in development.

Joint working group

The first speaker was Thamer Ghadban chief advisers in the House of Representatives in his view the great efforts made ​​by the body and aimed to devote conviction of the inevitability of the private sector role in economic development.

Revealed Ghadhban for the first time for the team of experts have been working for four years to develop programs needed reforms in the light of the vision of global experiences undergone by countries in similar circumstances to the circumstances of Iraq and in coordination with international organizations, the World Bank and the European Union and the United Nations, where the formation of a unit missions economic reform initiated by the team of advisers has included serving as President of the Iraqi side and the corresponding people and participants from the United Nations.

Management of the economy

He noted that the pattern of Anger-management affairs, economic life in the world is different from what exists in Iraq, hinted that the 80 percent of Germany’s exports are the product of the private sector, especially small and medium enterprises.

He explained that these task forces have worked to find ways to support the private sector on the other hand, is creating the draft resolutions presented to the legislative reform officials.

Project of economic reform

He noted that the Authority worked through the teams to discuss several topics including a project initiative and the issue of agricultural uses of land and the fragmentation of ownership and the issue of tax reform and banking reform.

Anger and revealed that there was a project for the reform of the comprehensive economic co-authored by 7 organizations in the United Nations has provided much assistance to mature this project and is now available to the State Advisory Council for discussion and opinion.

Competition based on evaluation

After this Alastard Anger touched to see the body of advisers to support the private sector should not be discrimination between the public and the private sector only through competition, which is the basis of evaluation, stressing the need not to give opportunities and weakens the competitive advantages required.

The conflict between ancient and modern

He said the biggest challenge, but there is respect in the conflict between ancient and modern who does not believe there is reform of those who believe in the old laws may stand a stumbling block to any attempt to change, pointing out that we need to devote time to the new concepts of change and reform.

In return, there is a responsibility on the private sector to be a pioneer in the revival of Iraq and to provide the desired lot to contribute in response to the old one.

He repeated: that the vision of the advisers to the role of the private sector that the way open for Iraq and on the threshold of significant economic renaissance and we need citizen support for these trends in the role of the state to be directed and planned and leave the implementation in the hands of the private sector under the supervision of the state ….The private sector is the economy and the state administration is

That occur after an economic advisor to Prime Minister Dr. Abdul Hussain Anbuge, who summed up the view that the economic doctrine based on the grounds that the private sector is the economy and the state administration and is referred to the concepts of Keynesian theory, stressing faith in the private sector.

State sponsor and honorable

He said that late taking off because the State’s role and involvement in production because it is the custodian and honorable and the patron of this is the role of the state, not production, and must work to pay the private sector to lead the production process and that this inevitably requires the support of the state.

The cost of corruption to the private sector

He added that the advisers tend to encourage the building the institutions of a competitive, adding that corruption for the private sector is the extra cost, while representing a gain or a gain for the public sector so the leadership of the private sector for production will contribute to the undermining of corruption and said: You must be leadership to the private sector as an important element in elements to achieve economic development and the experiences of the world the best proof of this thing.

And hinted that many officials have a vision in the development of large hedges on capital in the belief that they are keen for him to go to that safeguards are in place hinder the development ..

Strategy to develop industrial sector

Adviser to the detection of the industrial advisory board d.Anbari Hamid in his speech that the body has formed a committee in the year 2008 mission study the reality of Iraq’s industry, businesses and factories were stalled or civil government of this Committee worked quietly but there has been nothing because the conflict and collide Syatea cit.

Anbari revealed that he was setting a strategy for private sector development in 2010 include the employment of laboratory medium billion dollars has been allocated for lending to the march of private sector banks and to support civil ..

The Committee also worked on a recommendation to postpone the schedule of taxes and debts owed ​​to the right of industrialists from the private sector, thus giving them the opportunity to run their factories.

It was also stressed on the need to develop an advanced industrial cities, similar to what exists in Turkey, the UAE, but we encounter problems during complex coordination between industry and the provincial councils and continue to work to put rail on the right track.

Industrial Initiative

Anbari revealed that the new trend is towards industrial initiative for the development of the private sector and this trend needs some time.

He referred to the vision of the advisers to support and develop the technology clusters of the elements of youth and lay the foundations for the development of factories for the operation of this important segment.

After that the effects of MP Abdul-Abbas Xiaa subject in strengthening the good relationship between the private sector and the state is certain importance in the development of Alamlualanteg. During his speech he urged the state to the need to expand the role of the private sector and give him the opportunity to prove its capabilities in the construction and development.

Review of laws

The second intervention was the expert investment Thaer Faili call, which focused on the need to reconsider the laws and regulations that hamper investment and believes that the private sector is under siege and a warrior because of the ignorance of the few who Aaon its importance in the investment.

Lifting the ban on private banks

The banking expert Husam Obaid Ali, Chairman of Bank of the economy for investment, he called to identify the problems of the banking sector to launch its role in supporting the programs of construction, investment and raised in place to prevent government departments and ministries to deal with private banks and called for action to lift the ban on banks to contribute to its performance in a required in the development and the loop may have addressed the problems faced by the private banking sector advisory board and try to support this sector for its important role in meeting the requirements of development.

Then outlined the chief advisers Thamer Ghadban in his answers for questions businessmen and bankers involved in the ring to see the body of the future that he will work to address the challenges facing the private sector as a whole through laws and legislation strong and the direction of giving the main role in the leadership of the economic process and economic transformation desired. And said: We wait to resolve the conflict between the central and decentralized in the near future, according to the Constitution and the requirements of transformation and change, and it is only a matter of time.

http://bit.ly/nyMpXH


31 Aug 2011 AK News
White bloc names Defense Ministry candidate
By Hasun Haffar
 
Karbala: The White bloc part of al-Iraqiya has named Dr Qatiba al-Jobbouri as its candidate for the long-vacant Defense Ministry post.

Mohammed Khidhir al-Da'ami MP for the bloc told AKnews that his group, which holds 12 seats, believes it is owed the allocation of the post under the Erbil Agreement.

The MP said the naming of the candidate by the White bloc will likely end the disputes between al-Iraqiya and the National Coalition (NC) of the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Eight months after formation of the cabinet, the ministries of defense, national security and interior are still unallocated. Maliki and al-Iraqiya head Ayad Allawi keep refusing each others candidates.

The candidate will have to be confirmed by the National Coalition before being authorized by Parliament.
© AK News 2011


29 Aug 2011 AK News
Eight new power stations ready to generate
By Jaafar al-Wannan
 
Baghdad - Eight small power stations that run on diesel have been complete and are ready to start producing 240 MW of power in a bid to end the acute electricity shortages in the country, the Iraqi Electricity Ministry said Monday.

Ministry spokesman Musab al-Mudarres told AKnews that the stations are First Northern Baghdad, Jadiriya, First Qurna, Second Qurna, al-Farabi, Falluja, Ramadi, and Balad. Each of them will generate 30 MW.

"The project of establishing other stations at Kadhimiya, Dawra, Second Northern Baghdad, and Second Jadiriya will be completed at the middle of next September and will add 120 megawatts to the electrical system."

"The Ministry of Electricity is working to improve the level of electricity production, which reached to 8,000 MW in order to reduce the electricity shortage."
 
The demand for electricity is estimated at 14,000 MW during the summer when temperatures exceed in many cases 50C and air conditioners try to battle the heat. Iraq is planning to increase its capacity to 27,000 MW.
© AK News 2011




29 Aug 2011 Iran Daily
 Lucrative Investment Offer For Southern IraqIran Foreign Investment CompanyIran Foreign Investment Company




IFIC is willing to make a huge investment in the southern Iraqi province of Wasit and is prepared to accept deferred payment for its activities, the head of the province's information office said.

Majid Al-Atabi, said IFIC




IFIC, a private joint stock company, has expressed readiness to start a number of projects in Wasit, Moj News Agency reported.

Atabi said the company's offer was tempting because Wasit did not have to worry about immediate payment.

"The company is ready to start the projects and is also ready to accept deferred payment," he reiterated.

He noted that IFIC




's representatives are currently in Wasit and have submitted their blueprints and designs for the projects.

"The provincial authorities have tentatively accepted the designs but the confirmation of the province's investment commission is still pending," Atabi said.

He stated that IFICIFIC




's plans to implement the projects in various civilian sectors of the province, including construction of a variety of industries and factories.

The projects include a pharmaceutical company, a cement plant, transformational industries and silos, Atabi added.

The company is one of the arms of Iran's foreign investment, providing finance and financial services. Its investments cover projects in the areas of energy, telecom and IT, banking, insurance, stock markets, industry, mining, oil, gas and petrochemicals.

The company currently has implemented numerous joint projects in countries including Germany, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Namibia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Armenia.
© Iran Daily 2011



28 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Nineveh licenses $78m hotel construction project

By Rezan Ahmed
 
Nineveh - Nineveh Investment Board has licensed the construction  of two hotels to the south and north of the provincial capital, Mosul.

Investment Board chief Muwaffaq Yunis told AKnews that a Turkish construction company has undertaken the contract at a combined cost of $78 million.

The first project, a five-storey hotel surrounded by landscaped gardens will be built in the al-Qyara district, 30 km south of Mosul, and features an amusement park and swimming pool.

The other project, a seven-storey hotel complete with a Turkish restaurant, a sports stadium and leisure center is planned in Cascades City, 10 km north of Mosul.

Construction on both projects is scheduled to begin at the start of 2012, to be completed within 10-months.

Yunis said the hotels will be constructed to modern Turkish designs and specifications.

© AK News 2011




29 Aug 2011 Zawya Dow Jones News
 

Iraq Oil Ministry, Oil Companies To Meet In Jordan September 11th

Monday, Aug 29, 2011

By Hassan Hafidh

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

AMMAN (Dow Jones)--Iraq's Oil Ministry will meet Sept. 11 representatives of 40 world energy firms bidding for long-term deals for 12 exploration blocks under service contracts, a senior Iraqi oil official said Monday.

Top Iraqi Oil Ministry officials will meet executives of these companies, representing 22 nationalities, in Amman's Le Royal Hotel on Sept. 11 to discuss details of the blocks on offer as well as contract terms, Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of the ministry's Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, or PCLD, told Dow Jones Newswires.

"The one-day meeting will start at 0900 Amman time on Sept. 11 and will continue on the afternoon," Ameedi said, adding that registration for companies will start at 0800 local time the same day.

Draft model contract and tender protocols and data packages will be made available to the participating companies Sept. 12, he said. Companies will then be required to pay a participation fee for each field on which they intend to bid.

Ameedi said that companies will be invited to buy the data packages collectively or individually for each block, and said prices of the data packages will be announced Sept. 11.

Prequalified companies will compete based on fees that they will charge for exploring in these untouched blocks.

The ministry prequalified earlier this month some 41 international companies to take part in the bidding round, the country's fourth. Hess Corp. (HES), however, has since been excluded because it signed deals with the semi-autonomous northern region of Kurdistan without the approval of the Baghdad central government.

One category of companies, consisting of 29 including oil majors, will be allowed to bid as operators for the 12 exploration blocks. The second category will be allowed to participate in consortiums led by operators, the PCLD's head said.

Three of the blocks are in the western Anbar province, two are shared by the Anbar, Nineveh and Najaf governorates, the sixth is in Nineveh governorate and the seventh is near the border with Iran and shared by the provinces of Diyala and Wasit.

These seven are believed to contain gas resources, Oil Ministry officials said.

The remaining five blocks, believed to contain crude oil resources, are located in other governorates including Basra, Dhi Qar [Nassiriyah], Muthanna [Samawa], Babil, Najaf, Wasit and Diyala provinces, the officials said.

The size of the blocks range from 5,500-9,000 square kilometers, they said.

Iraq needs to boost gas production and build more gas-fired power plants to increase its power output, currently at 6,500 megawatts, which represent less than half the country's needs.

-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; +962 799 831 831; hassan.hafidh@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

29-08-11 1043GMT





27 Aug 2011 AFP
 

Egyptair resumes Baghdad flights after 21-year break

CAIRO, Aug 27, 2011 (AFP) - National carrier EgyptairEgyptair on Saturday resumed direct flights to Iraq after a break of 21 years, the airline's chairman Hussein Massoud told AFP.

"The first Cairo-Baghdad flight left today with about 30 passengers on board," he said, adding EgyptairEgyptair would fly four times a week to Baghdad and three times to Arbil, capital of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.

The service was scrapped in 1990 after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

str-iba/hc



25 Aug 2011 Press Release
 

Asiacell Extends Mobile Connectivity Services to Remote Areas across Iraq in Collaboration with Altobridge

Asiacell Extends Mobile Connectivity Services to Remote Areas across Iraq in Collaboration with Altobridge
Asiacell - the first and largest private Iraqi telecommunications company and the first mobile telecom company to provide coverage for all of Iraq - announced rolling out mobile voice, broadband and SMS services across remote communities in Iraq using the Altobridge lite-site™ solution.

A satellite-backhauled, solar-powered, 2G/3G solution, Altobridge lite-site™ enables mobile network operators to bring mobile connectivity to remote communities. Currently, the solution is being deployed in previously unconnected communities in Sulaimaniya in Northern Iraq.

"For over a decade, Asiacell has been pioneering the provision of products and services that enhance the quality of life and business for Iraqis. Telecommunications is the backbone of any progressive economy and is a key driver of socioeconomic growth, which is why we have made it our mission to ensure that telecom services are available to all Iraqis regardless of their location. Asiacell is the first telecom company to provide coverage for all 18 provinces, and to supply mobile voice, broadband and SMS services to remote communities that are not traditionally associated with revenue generating potential," said Dr. Diar Ahmed, Asiacell CEO.

Dr. Ahmed went on to explain that Altobridge lite-site™ is a cost-effective, energy-efficient solution that optimizes capital budgets while minimizing backhaul, making it an ideal choice for Asiacell's plans towards efficiently expanding its nationwide coverage. "We are confident that by partnering with Altobridge, who are international mobile network solution leaders, we will enhance our ability to service the Iraqi community," he said.

In turn, Mike Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer at Altobridge, said, "Mobile Network Operators are coming under increasing pressure to maximize their use of limited capital budgets. The Altobridge lite-site™ reduces capital expenditure and minimizes operational costs while providing superior coverage to targeted subscriber groups. Our solution is optimized for solar power, thereby removing the high cost barriers of diesel generators. Coupling this with industry leading transmission efficiency, Altobridge underwrites a return on investment from non-urban base stations deployments. We are privileged to have been selected as a supplier to Asiacell and look forward to working together to drive prosperity throughout Iraq."

Altobridge is an Ireland-based provider of wireless network solutions for the delivery of voice and mobile broadband services, allowing mobile network operators to connect unconnected communities and enterprises. Altobridge solutions are deployed and operational in over 30 countries worldwide.

-Ends-

About Asiacell
AsiacellAsiacell, the first mobile telecommunications company in Iraq, was established in the city of Sulaimaniya in 1999 by the well-known entrepreneur Mr. Faruk Mustafa Rasool. In addition to being the first national Iraqi telecom network to provide coverage for all of the country's provinces in the north and the south, AsiacellAsiacell is the largest private Iraqi company, serving over 9 million subscribers and connecting the Iraqi nation.

www.asiacell.com

This press release was issued by Asiacell. For more information, please contact us at:

Public Relations Department
Telephone: +9647701195758
Email: abdulla.hassan@asiacell.com

© Press Release 2011



25 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Baghdad to provide 360 generators to tackle electricity crisis

Baghdad, Aug. 25 (AKnews) - Baghdad provincial council announced Thursday that it has allocated IQD50 billion from its budget to purchase 360 electricity generators to be distributed throughout the capital in order to reduce the acute shortage of energy, noting that these generators, with the help of civil generators, will provide 2200 MW for the capital. 
 
The deputy head of Baghdad services Ghaleb al-Zamili told AKnews: "The provincial council began the distribution of 44 generators with different capacities and sizes from 50 to 500 KW distributed at various areas, including Abu Ghoreib, Taji and Tarmiyah in the neighborhoods of Baghdad beside Karkh and Rusafa.

"The initial plan includes the distribution of 360 generators. Larger generators will be distributed among hospitals, water and sewer projects."

The electricity sector in Iraq is suffering since years of shortage in the production of energy due to the damages that the stations and transport networks passed through during the invasion of the country in 2003, followed by acts of sabotage.

Iraqis depend on generators to address the continuing shortfall in energy generation. Blackouts in the capital frequently last for 18 hours a day.

The Iraqi government announced last May that it will allocate $400 million to provide the owners of civil and government generators with free oil in order that they can commit themselves to run 12 hours a day, confirming that oil will be paid for by the Ministry of Finance or deducted from the imports of the oil ministry at the end of this year.

However, Zamili said:"We turned to this project as an alternative solution after the Electricity ministry failed to provide electricity to citizens ... These generators will help the civil generators in order to provide 2200 MW of the capital, while the Ministry of Electricity equipped the province with only 1500 MW."

Iraq seeks to meet the local demand for energy which is currently estimated at 14,000 MW, while it can only currently produce 7,000 MW.

But these efforts sometimes collide with the rampant corruption in government departments, where a few weeks ago contracts to build power plants worth $ 1.7 billion were awarded to non-existent companies, prompting the Minister of Electricity Raad shallal to resign.

© AK News 2011



25 Aug 2011 Aswat Aliraq
 

Al-Iraqiya Coalition presents candidates for Defense Minister's post to Iraq's President i/o PM 

BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Al-Iraqiya Coalition, led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has presented the names of 8 candidates for the Defense Minister's post to President Jalal Talabani and not to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, due to the mistrust between al-Iraqiya and the State of Law Coalition's leaders Allawi and Maliki, al-Iraqiya Member, Talal al-Zuba'e said on Thursday.

The Legislature of the National Coalition, Asma'a al-Moussawi, told Aswat al-Iraq earlier that al-Iraqiya Coalition had presented its 8 candidates for the Defense Minister's post to the President, but the State of Law Coalition had opposed the measure, demanding the names to be presented to the Prime Minister.

Zoba'e, on his part, said: "Our Coalition has presented the names of its 8 candidates for the said post to the President, being the protector of the Constitution," adding that "this step can't be considered 'hostile' to the Prime Minister, but was taken due to the absence of trust between al-Iraqiya and the State of Law."

"There is a sharp difference between Dr.
Iyad Allawi and Nouri al-Maliki, and due to that we presented the names of our candidates to President Jalal Talabani, being the protector of our agreements, thing that must not upset the State of Law Coalition," Zoba'e told Aswat al-Iraq.

He said that "among the most outstanding candidates for the Defense Minister's post is the Leader of the Middle Alliance, Jawad al-Bolany, whilst the other candidates did not gain support by other political blocs."

On the other hand, Zoba'e said that "the most lucky candidate by the State of Law Coalition for the Interior Minister's post, was Raad Mukhlis al-Tikrity, who gained support by our Coalition, being a national personality."

A sharp difference had taken place since 6 months between al-Iraqiya and the National Coalition about the so-called Arbil Agreement, including the establishment of the National Council for Strategic Policies (NCSP), along with the differences about the Security Dossier.

The Security Cabinet Posts, especially the Interior and Defense Ministers' posts had been vacant since the formation of the Iraqi Cabinet on 21/12/2010, with first being the share of the National Coalition and the second by al-Iraqiya Coalition, with each side rejecting the candidate of the other, whilst Prime Minister Maliki holds both posts on 'acting' basis.

© Aswat Aliraq 2011




25 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Iraq: Three dams under construction

By Rebin Hassan
 
Sulaimaniya, Aug.25 (AKnews) The Kurdistan Ministry of Agriculture and Water is constructing three small dams to tackle the water crisis near Koya, Sulaimaniyah,.

Minister Jamil Suleiman told AKnews that the projects in Bawajan, Qoritan and Timarok villages will cost US$552,500.

The projects, funded from the 2011 ministry budget, have already been started and will be completed within two years, the minister said.

Each dam will be able to store up to 350,000 cubic meters of water from the springs and brooks crossing the area.

It is two years since the Ministry announced its five-year plan to construct eight large and 19 small dams. After the projects get underway the issue of drinking water and raising consumption of the underground water will be solved.

© AK News 2011




24 Aug 2011 AK News
 

German firm builds $200m hospital near Mosul

By Rezan Ahmed
 
Nineveh - A German company has started work on a $200 million hospital in Nineveh's al-Qayara district, 30 km south of the provincial capital Mosul.

Nineveh health official Salahaddin Thannoun told AKnews that the 600-bed hospital will serve the surrounding area which is in "desparate need" of medical facilities. Currently, people in the area must go to Mosul for treatment.

The hospital is expected to be completed by the end of 2012, says Thannound.

"The German firm will equip the hospital with the latest and most advanced medical equipment to diagnose and cure cancer and kidney illnesses," he said. "...the hospital will also offer ophthalmic treatments".
© AK News 2011



24 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Iraq agrees 50% increase in oil exports to Jordan

By Jaafar al-Wannan
 
Baghdad - Iraq has agreed to increase oil exports to Jordan to 15,000 barrels per day from 10,000 bpd.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry has signed the agreement with its Jordanian counterpart today to increase the oil exports to the Baiji refinery by 50%.

Director of the State Oil Marketing OrganizationState Oil Marketing Organization
State Oil Marketing Organization
SOMO
Iraq | Oil and Gas
 News | ProfileOfficers
(SOMOSOMO) Falah al-Ameri told AKnews that the agreement also includes an additional 30,000 tonnes of heavy fuel and at a promotional price of US$88 per ton.

"SOMOSOMO will try to market oil to Jordan by way of tankers. Iraq has the capability to increase its exports."

Iraq and Jordan signed an agreement in 2008 whereby Iraq would provide 10,000 bpd to Jordan.
© AK News 2011



24 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Ministry to tighten importation regulations

 
By Fryad Mohammed
 
Erbil - From the beginning of 2012 the Ministry of Trade will strictly control the importation of goods into the country, says the minister.

Khayrullah Hassan told AKnews that the ministry will work according to a quota system based on need and all imports must attain its prior approval.

"We will not allow businessmen to trade in items at will," Hassan said.

Currently foreign suppliers focus on goods that generate the biggest profits, often causing a glut in the market, the minister explained. Citing the example of cars which provide tradesmen with healthy dividends, Hassan said that Iraq only needs to import 5,000 per year but much higher numbers regularly enter the local market.

The over-importation of the cars has 'considerably' damaged Iraq's economy and harmed its natural environment.

On the other end of the scale, there are goods that Iraq is in need of that do not enter the country because they are less profitable.

Hassan said that the current haphazard importation system has also allowed for the introduction of very poor quality products onto the market.

© AK News 2011




23 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Iraq to pay 20 year $400m debt to Egyptian workers

By Jaafar al-Wannan
 
Baghdad - Iraq will pay $400 million in debts to Egyptian workers after 20 years.

Iraqi Finance Ministry spokesman Zaid Zamel said the government has finally decided that the payment does not conflict with Paris Club Agreement - which scratched debts racked up by Saddam Hussein.

Zamel told AKnews that the government has consulted the experts in legal affairs and the Paris Club about the impact of repaying the workers debt and they confirmed that the debt still needs to be paid because it is not linked to the Egyptian government but rather to private individuals.
 
"The Finance Ministry will pay the debt to the Egyptian workers from the 2012 budget or from the budget of this year in order to resolve this issue completely," he said.

The workers were employed by the Iraqi state before the imposition of sanctions on Iraq in 1990 for its invasion of Kuwait. The UN imposed sanctions meant that Iraq was unable to pay the workers who were forced to return to their home country without their wages.
© AK News 2011



23 Aug 2011 Aswat Aliraq
 

48 billion dollars in Iraqi oil exports in 7 months 

BAGHDAD: Iraqi oil exports for the last seven months reached to 10.464 million barrels with an income over 48 billion dollars, ministry of oil sources said today.

Oil ministryOil ministry
Ministry of Oil - Iraq
Iraq | Governmental Institutions
 News | ProfileOfficers
» Research
» Projects
spokesman Asim Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq that the ministry is continuing its efforts to increase exports .

On the other hand, he pointed out that crude oil exports for last July reached to 67.2 million barrels with a revenue of 7.311 billion barrels.

The exports from Basrah reached to 53 million barrels with a revenue of 5.739 billion dollars, he added.

Kirkuk exports reached to 14.2 million barrels with a revenue of 1.572 billion dollars.

The average selling price reached to 108.795 dollar per barrel.
© Aswat Aliraq 2011




22 Aug 2011 AFP
 

Iraq July oil exports dip but revenues rise

BAGHDAD, Aug 22, 2011 (AFP) - Iraq's oil exports for July fell compared to the previous month but revenues rose as average crude prices increased, the oil ministry said on Monday.

Iraq exported 67.2 million barrels in July, earning revenues of $7.311 billion (5.072 billion euros), according to figures published on the oil ministry website.

Iraq exported 68.2 million barrels in June, but revenues were lower for that month at $7.173 billion (4.977 billion euros).

Revenues rose as average oil prices increased to $108.795 (75.48 euros) over the course of July, the highest such average this year, the figures showed.

The July revenue figure was the second-highest monthly figure since 2003, when a US-led invasion toppled now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein. May 2011 represents the overall high.

Average daily exports in July were 2.17 million bpd, a drop from June's figure of 2.27 million bpd.

The country's budget, approved in February, factors in oil prices of $76.50 per barrel and average exports of 2.2 million bpd.

Oil sales account for around 90 percent of Iraq's government income.

hsn/psr/wd/jds/bpz

© Copyright AFP 2011.


20 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Al-Iraqiya nominates Ziad al-Thareb to head electricity ministry

 By Jaafar al-Wannan
 
Baghdad - Al-Iraqiya led by Ayad Allawi has nominated MP Ziad al-Thareb to take over the Electricity MinistryElectricity Ministry after the resignation of Raad Shallal amid a $1.7 billion fraud probe.

MP Nahida al-Daini of Iraqiya's Hal bloc told AKnews that Thareb is capable of putting together a plan to resolve the country's energy crisis, adding that the list is now waiting for the approval of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

"The prime minister has not objected to the nomination of Thareb to take over management of the Electricity MinistryElectricity Ministry," she said.

On August 7, the PM recommended Shallal's immediate dismissal for signing two power-plant building contracts worth $1.7 billion with companies that do not exist.

Allegations of fraud are currently being investigated.
© AK News 2011



19 Aug 2011

 

Finance Ministry, World Bank discuss 2012 budgetAswat Aliraq

The Iraqi Minister of Finance Rafi al-Issawi discussed with the World BankWorld Bank director in Iraq, Maria Helen Keller, the budget for 2012.

Both sides discussed the final draft, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

The statement tackled "the differences in oil prices and their effects on the federal budget," highlighting that the budget should be submitted to the cabinet by September.

The ministry intended to present the budget by next September for study, discussion and approval by the parliament by the end of the year, not like previous years.
© Aswat Aliraq 2011


19 Aug 2011

 

Housing tops investment priorities

Friday, Aug 19, 2011

Gulf NewsGulf News

Dubai Iraq is granting 100 per cent foreign ownership of properties in Baghdad in a bid to attract larger investment into the country’s battered capital city, a top government official has said.

Mohammad Al Rubaye, head of the Strategic Planning Committee at the Baghdad Governorate Council, said the Iraqi investment law offers several incentives with respect to fund transfers as well as 15 tax-free years on raw materials and building materials once the investment licence is obtained and work commences.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Al Rubaye also said that investment licences are being issued to various sectors for periods ranging from 25 to 50 years, depending on the project. The law also envisages administrative and logistic facilities as it ushers in a one-window policy. Excerpts:

Gulf News: Tell us about the investment law in Iraq.

Mohammad Al Rubaye: In August 2006 the Iraqi parliament passed investment Law No 13 which provides for establishing a National Investment Commission, chaired by a president with the rank of minister and run by a board of five to seven members.

A similar move was taken in Iraq’s 15 provinces where an investment commission was established in each province. The commission comprises a chairman, deputy chairman and five members, including two members from the private sector elected by the Provincial Council through direct secret ballot.

As per the investment law, the 15 commissions have really been set up besides an investment commission established in the separate Kurdistan region in line with the regional autonomy law.

Yet all these commissions started functioning at the beginning of 2007 but progress was extremely slow due to the administrative and logistical requirements. The Baghdad Investment Authority was established in late 2007.

In the country’s 2008 federal budget, the Iraqi government allocated funds for each province’s commission for administrative purposes. The government also allocated a budget for the Supreme National Investment Commission, giving broad powers, including moral and administrative independence, to each investment body in Iraq’s provinces.

However, the Provincial Council operates as an administrative watchdog to monitor each commission’s administrative works whereas each commission is assigned to draw up investment plans. Such powers depend on the size of investors’ projects. For example, if the investor’s project is worth over $250 million, providing him with the investor’s licence remains the exclusive prerogative of the National Investment Commission. The governorate is allowed to grant the investor’s licence only if the project value is less than $250 million.

Generally, the investment commission of Baghdad took its first steps in the right track in 2009. With its wide-ranging powers, the investment law is ambitious but the reality is different. The reason can be attributed to centralisation in government institutions, including ministries, agencies, organisations, and even in Baghdad Municipality. Restricted powers for the investment commission and centralisation hindered the enforcement of the One-Window Rule — launched by Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki even as the initiative encountered a lack of response.

I believe that investment culture cannot be exercised by institutions that work within the framework of centralisation. Moreover, the existing administrative corruption stands as an obstacle to the country’s progress and prevents it from attracting foreign investments.

Everyone knows that ‘capital is a coward’, a saying that simply means that capital is conservative and does not take great and unnecessary risks, and in fact it is true. How can investors come to Iraq to invest their funds when they watch on TV the daily security breaches; thus no one in Iraq and Baghdad in particular feels his funds are safe. This constitutes a barrier hindering the creation of a proper investment climate for potential investors.

Furthermore, administrative employees have not imbibed the culture of promotion for attracting investment and providing investment facilities and an appropriate investment environment, which are key factors for attracting capital rather than chasing investors.

In fact, the issue of land for projects presented a real concern for the National Province Commissions since 2009 until the latest amendment made to law No. 7 by the Cabinet. The amendment exempts investors from taxes, fees and rent on land being developed for residential purposes — a copy of the latest amendment will be made available later.

What is the volume of foreign investment in Iraq now?

Apart from investments in the Kurdish region, investment is not encouraging as it does not reach 5 per cent; however, I assume it is 25 per cent when considering those who received initial investment licences but have not yet embarked on implementation due to the aforementioned circumstances.

Are there sectors that are restricted to foreigners?

The law does not touch upon the issue.

What about foreign ownership of projects and real estate properties? And what is the foreigner ownership stake — is it 100 per cent?

For residential properties, the foreigner ownership is 100 per cent.

What are the investment guarantees for Arabs and foreigners?

There is a real concern over the issue of guarantees; each country has both international and local banks while the banking system in Iraq remains undeveloped and at a standstill. We are required to develop the banking system and policy. Federal institutions and ministries are operating within narrow frameworks and centralisation that restricts potential investments and guarantees. I am not sure that there are guarantees at present; therefore, we hope to develop the banking sector and provide great guarantees that attract foreign investors to develop the country’s infrastructure as we have no other choice. The federal budget shows that Iraq expects to disburse 87 per cent of its budget for administrative operations and salaries, while the remaining 13 per cent is allocated for a five-year plan.

What about the investment climate in Iraq?

The answer might be a bit different at present; there are tens of Iraqis in each province who claim that they are investors just to get the investment licence, however the environment is not suitable for implementing projects.

What are the investment facilities and incentives being offered in Iraq?

The law boldly mentions several incentives pertaining to fund transfer as well as 15-year tax-waivers on raw materials, building materials and imported materials once the investment licence is obtained and work commences.

Investment licences are being issued to various sectors for periods ranging between 25 and 50 years, as per the investment and feasibility study of individual projects. The law also includes administrative logistic facilities mentioned in the one-window law, but such provisions have remained ineffectual on the ground.

What are the investment sectors that are currently open?

Housing plays a major role, as Iraq needs over two million residential units. In this regard, South Korea has signed a preliminary agreement, or a memorandum of understanding, to build one million residential units in Baghdad.

As far as I know, a memorandum of understanding was also signed with the Al Maabar Company. So housing comes on top of the list of open sectors, as the average Iraqi citizen needs a house of his own where he can live safely.

Tourism and entertainment take second place in the list of open sectors, the reason being that the country lacks entertainment locations including beaches, flowing landscapes and green expanses. Green zone projects have been taken up by local investors to a small extent lately. We look forward to developing tens of green zones on areas of 5 to 25 acres for public use.

On the other hand, hotels play a great role in tourism, as they are the best destination for giant foreign companies and host government events and activities, particularly after the 2003 regime change.

Nonetheless, although it is one of the vital sectors, the number of hotels in Iraq is quite low. For example, with a population of 8 million, Baghdad is home to five one-star hotels and tens of cheap developments offering miserable conditions.

There are several investment projects, two of which are in progress, namely Baghdad Tower in Zorae and Rotana in the Green Zone.

Furthermore, the health sector also plays a major role, therefore it is included on the list of priorities on the investment map.

There are not enough hospitals and health clinics to meet the minimum requirements of Iraqis. The health industry has an investment role to play as well.

What about free zones? Are there specific laws governing free zones? What can you tell us about this aspect?

There are only plans to further regulate border-based free zones to live up to the investment level.

The Al Anbar province submitted a proposal to the National Investment Commission which is under study, and there are attempts on the ground to create a free zone for wood, iron and building and raw materials in Baghdad where businessmen have long resided.

Does Iraq eye US and Chinese investment? Which one of these countries is more important for Iraq?

American strategic investments including small, medium or large scale investments do not seem to be taking place in Iraq in the near future.

We, as local leaders and specialists in the country’s policymaking and strategies, are wondering about the secret behind the absence of competition between the US and Britain in Iraq, unlike East Asian countries such as China and Korea in terms of investment competition in Iraq. Both countries have investments in the country including the Al Ahdab Oil Field at Wasit and another one in Basra as well as residential and industrial investments.

Are there plans to cooperate with International companies to boost Iraq’s power sector?

Yes, several Middle Eastern and Asian companies have contracted with most of Iraq’s provincial councils and investment bodies to provide power output capacity that does not exceed 30 megawatts. This move has to an extent supported the Ministry of Electricity which suffered for want of capability to provide electric power in the past eight years.

By Mayada Al Askari?Staff Reporter

© Gulf News 2011. All rights reserved.


18 Aug 2011 AK News
 New Khanaqin dam will resolve water crisis, says minister
By Fryad Mohammed
 
Erbil, Aug. 18 (AKnews) - A $6 million dam under construction on the Alwand River in Khanaqin, Diyala Province, will assure the region's water supply in times of drought, said the Kurdistan Minister of Irrigation.

Jamil Suleiman told AKnews that the 23 meter-high dam with a 50 cubic meter water storing capacity, is scheduled for completion by 2012.

The Alwand River which flows from Iran into Iraq provides local farmers with their main source of water for irrigation.

For the past eight years, residents have complained that Iran is cutting off the water flow during the dry summer months between March and August, having a devastating effect on agriculture in the region.

This year, angry locals blocked the nearby Parvizhkhan border crossing - a major route for Iranian traders transporting their goods into the booming Kurdistan Region - forcing Iran to release the river's waters.

The Khanaqin dam project - undertaken by the Iraqi Ministry of Water Resources - will provide the region's farmers with enough water to irrigate their crops in times of drought, Suleiman said.

© AK News 2011





18 Aug 2011
Zawya Dow Jones News
 

Iraq Receives 3 Bids To Build Power Plant - Electricity Min

Thursday, Aug 18, 2011

AMMAN (Dow Jones)--Iraq's electricity ministry said it had received bids from three international companies to build a gas-fired power plant with a capacity of 1,014 megawatts north of the capital Baghdad.

South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Construction submitted a bid to build the plant at a cost of $500 million, while Egypt's Orascom Construction Co. offered to do it for $463 million and an unidentified Chinese company for $337 million, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. Each of the three firms offered to build the plant within 24 months, it added.

The ministry said it would choose a winner among the three by the end of the month.

The project, located in Baiji, 200 kilometers north of Baghdad, would include installing six gas-fired units, with capacity of 169 MW each, that Iraq bought from Siemens in 2008.

Iraqis currently receive no more than four hours of state-supplied electricity per day in summer when temperature reaches as high as 50 centigrade, and less than six hours in winter. Those who can afford it get additional supplies from private generators.

Currently, electricity production and imports from Syria and Iran total about 7,000 MW, with demand around twice as much.

-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; +962 799 831831; hassan.hafidh@dowjones.com

Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Co.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

18-08-11 1014GMT



17 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Al-Faw port plans "ready within the year

 
By Haidar Ibrahim
 
Baghdad, Aug. 17 (AKnews) - The Iraqi Transport Ministry stated Wednesday that the designs for Grand al-Faw port will be ready in less than a year.

The statements issued today said that all the necessary preparations have been made to initiate the construction of the port including the financial allocations and the technical and engineering staffing. 
  
Iraq announced its intention to build the port in 2005 and the foundation stone was laid in April 2010. But Kuwait took advantage of the delay in progress to announce the construction of Mubarak Port, just a few kilometers away from the al-Faw site. This threw doubt on the economic feasibility of the Iraqi port.

Al-Faw will cost approximately $5 billion and will have an estimated capacity of 99 million tons per year making it one of the largest ports in the Persian Gulf. 
  
Advisor of the Transport Minister Karim Nouri told AKnews that an Italian company will implement the project and has begun working on the designs of the port. 
  
"The Ministry is serious about building the port immediately after the completion of its own designs. The ministry has provided all the requirements needed for the establishment of the port especially with regard to the financial allocations." 
© AK News 2011





17 Aug 2011

 Aswat Aliraq

PM calls on UAE companies to launch construction in Iraq

Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has called for the settlement of the problems that hamper contracting operations with the UAE's companies, in order to facilitate their chances for investment in Iraq, calling the related parties in both countries to end the contracting stages and begin building and reconstruction operations, agreed upon between both sides.

A statement by the Iraqi Prime Minister's office, copy of which dropped in Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Wednesday, has reported that Maliki's notes were addressed during his reception early in the day of UAE's Ambassador to Baghdad, Abdullah Ibrahim al-Shihy.

The statement also stressed that Maliki had called during the reception for strengthening joint cooperation between both countries, renewing his call upon the UAE's companies to invest and work in Iraq.

"Prime Minister Maliki has reaffirmed necessity to settle the questions and problems that hamper contracting processes, in order to facilitate the chances for investment, calling on the related parties in both countries to accelerate the closing of the contracting stages and begin the building and reconstruction operations in the projects concluded between both sides.

The statement quoted the UAE's Ambassador as having confirmed "his country's willingness to invest in Iraq and expand horizons of economic and trade cooperation between both countries."

The Ambassador has explained that the level of trade exchange between Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had been stepped up greatly over and differently, compared to the previous years, calling for the activation of the activity of the joint committee between both countries, stemming from the existence of willingness to hold contracts, especially in the field of protecting the investments and customs charges.

© Aswat Aliraq 2011




17 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Iraq growing its own says Agriculture Ministry

By Haidar Ibrahim
 
Baghdad, Aug. 17 (AKnews) - The Agriculture Ministry says that 90% of the fresh vegetables on the Iraqi market today are locally produced, signaling the success of the government's import policies.

Ministry spokesman Karim al-Tamimi told AKnews that theministry has imposed strict controls on the import of vegetables with an outright ban on some strategic crops, in a bid to support Iraqi agriculture..

In 2007, the government launched a scheme to improve the agricultural situation in the country, setting a 10-year time limit for Iraq to become self-sufficient in staple foodstuffs. 

Included in the initiative is the provision of basic supplies to local producers, such as seeds, pesticides and fertilizers, as well as helping with land reclamation issues and ensuring market prices for their harvests.
© AK News 2011





17 Aug 2011

 Aswat Aliraq

Parliament's Wednesday session to discuss 1st reading of Iraq's draft Oil & Gas Law

The Iraqi Parliament's session on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss the 1st reading of the project of Iraq's Oil & Gas Law, and to host the Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and the Electricity Minister, about the electricity contracts, according to the Parliament's media office source.

"The Parliament session today (Wednesday) is scheduled to discuss the 1st reading of the draft of Iraq's Oil & Gas Law, by its Oil, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, as well as hosting the Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and the Electricity Minister on the electricity contracts," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

The session, he said, would also discuss "the government's program by the Ministers of Agriculture, Water Resources, Health and Environment," adding that the session was scheduled to convene at 10:00 AM local time (07:00 GMT).

© Aswat Aliraq 2011







16 Aug 2011 AK News
 

$14 m luxury hotel project underway in Basra

By Bahaa al-Kadhimi
 
Basra - Construction of a $14 million luxury hotel in central Basra began yesterday with the laying of its foundation stone.

The seven storey hotel - part of the city's preparations for the 2013 Gulf Cup to be held in the southern Iraqi city - is being built by the Turkish Sadiqoglu Group.

Built on a 3,000 m2 plot of land, the 120-room hotel will boast two restaurants and other entertainment and service facilities.

"The hotel s one of the objectives of the investment board," said Basra investment board head, Haidar Fadhil, "we are trying to prepare a suitable environment for hosting the Gulf Championship".

Fadhil did not say when completion of the project was scheduled, but the 2013 Gulf Cup kicks off towards the end of next year.
© AK News 2011



16 Aug 2011 AK News
 

French firm begins work on $15m hotel in Nineveh

By Rizan Ahmed
 
Nineveh - A French company began today construction work on a $15 million luxury hotel in Nineveh's Shallalat area, 10 km north of Mosul.

Investment Committee media official Muammar al-Abbasi told AKnews that the 200-room hotel will be the first of its kind in the region.

"The implementation of the project comes after the contract was signed between the French firm and Nineveh province more than five months ago," he said.

Set in10,000 square meters of grounds, the luxury hotel will boast four restaurants, a permanent exhibition of French heritage, a large swimming pool and outdoor recreation areas.

"The French company will complete the project within 10 months," Abbasi affirmed. 
© AK News 2011





16 Aug 2011 AK News
 

23 new wells to be drilled at Iraq's largest oil field

Erbil - Baker Hughes Inc. will drill 23 new wells in Iraq's largest oil field after signing a contract with Russia's second largest oil company, Lukoil,

Baker Hughes will drill the wells 4,000 meters deeps on the West Qurna Phase 2 oil field.

"Drilling will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and the projected scope of work will be completed within two years," a statement released by Lukoil said

The oil field is believed to hold 43 billion barrels of as of yet untapped oil, making it the second largest field in the world.

Lukoil were awarded the contract to develop the field in 2009. It projects that by 2012 they will be pumping 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) raising to 1.8 million within 13 years.
© AK News 2011




16 Aug 2011 AK News
 

Mobile phone licenses to be awarded next week

By Yazn al-Shemmari
 
Baghdad - The Iraqi Communications Ministry announced today that it will launch of the fourth round of license granting for mobile phone companies next week.
 
The licenses will be granted next week but any agreements will have to be confirmed by the cabinet.

A statement from Communications Minister Mohammed Allawi said that the ministry will only grant licenses to companies that will actually will offer better services for customers and improve the technological infrasctructure.

There have been issues surrounding the licensing round due to clashes between the Communications and Media Commission which was established in June 2004 and is an independent body and the ministry. An unclear delineation of the legal powers of the two bodies has led to confusion and conflict.
© AK News 2011




16 Aug 2011 AK News
 

$14 m luxury hotel project underway in Basra

By Bahaa al-Kadhimi
 
Basra - Construction of a $14 million luxury hotel in central Basra began yesterday with the laying of its foundation stone.

The seven storey hotel - part of the city's preparations for the 2013 Gulf Cup to be held in the southern Iraqi city - is being built by the Turkish Sadiqoglu Group.

Built on a 3,000 m2 plot of land, the 120-room hotel will boast two restaurants and other entertainment and service facilities.

"The hotel s one of the objectives of the investment board," said Basra investment board head, Haidar Fadhil, "we are trying to prepare a suitable environment for hosting the Gulf Championship".

Fadhil did not say when completion of the project was scheduled, but the 2013 Gulf Cup kicks off towards the end of next year.
© AK News 2011




15 Aug 2011

 

Digging deep

  The Gulf

  Digging deep


 
By Rosamund de Sybel
 
August 2011

The initialing of a long-stalled multi-billion-dollar gas project in southern Iraq has raised hopes that the country's oil and gas industry is moving in the right direction. But a lot more work needs to be done
There was jubilation last month at an Iraqi oil conference in London after news emerged that Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsubishi had initialed a "breakthrough" $12 billion deal with Iraq's oil ministry. The agreement - which still needs to be ratified by the Iraqi cabinet and then signed - to capture, treat and market associated gas in the south of Iraq, came after years of delay and uncertainty.

Hans Nijkamp, Shell's chairman for Iraq called it "an important milestone".

"Iraq will probably within the next year become a net LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) exporter," he told reporters at Iraqi Petroleum 2011, an industry conference organised by CWC Group. "There is a possibility to have LNG export contracts but this will only happen once the domestic market is satisfied."

The joint venture, called Basra Gas Company, will be at the heart of plans to boost the country's electricity production, as well as establishing liquefied gas exports. The Iraqi government will hold 51 per cent of the venture, Shell will hold 44 per cent and Mitsubishi five per cent.

Since negotiations for the pact started in 2008, the project has faced a raft of legal and political hurdles, in part because the prospect of exporting gas, when Iraq faces desperate electricity shortages at home, has proven controversial.

"Iraq's government in general has been keen for the project to move ahead as it is a crucial part of Iraq's power sector recovery, although the broad government coalition could still produce some surprises," IHS Middle East energy analyst, Samuel Ciszuk, observes.

Though he expects the Iraqi cabinet to ratify the deal - without the gas not much power reconstruction can go ahead - he warns that Iraq's fragile government coalition could "revert to populist sentiment and oppose the deal at the last minute."

While analysts argue that the agreement on the South Gas initiative and the founding of the Basra Gas Company marks an important step forward for Iraq, it also underscores the legislative and political challenges Iraq's hydrocarbons industry faces.

The sector is grappling with an array of legislative issues, not least the re-establishment of a national oil company (NOC). Thamir Ghadhban, a senior energy adviser to prime minister Nouri al Maliki, who previously held Iraq's top oil post, expressed optimism at the conference that the law to set up an NOC would be passed within five months.

"We hope by the end of the year we'll have legislation," he said, explaining that the company would take a leading role in supervising oil and gas production in the country.

Ghadhban also said that the creation of an NOC may precede a planned new hydrocarbons law - which has been delayed by years of parliamentary deadlock - and opposition from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over parts of its provisions.

"The oil and energy committee is taking a step-by-step approach to resolve the legislative dilemma," he told the conference.

Earlier last month, the oil and energy committee called for lawmakers to ban the central government and regional and provincial governments from signing any new oil and gas contracts until the hydrocarbon law is enacted. Over the past two years, the Iraq central government has signed 13 oil and gas deals with international companies, without approval from the Iraqi parliament.

"Passing the oil and gas law would provide the overall and guiding framework for regulating the upstream sector," said Ghadhban.

Ghadhban also highlighted the future level of Iraq's production capacity, which will be a key variable influencing energy markets in the next two decades.

"One of the pending issues that was talked about and questioned, and may be considered as a challenge, is the future level of Iraq's production capacity," he said. "Conflicting statements have been issued recently by a number of governmental sources... It's imperative to say that clarity regarding future production capacity is very much needed and of course it's the government's responsibility to clarify that."

In 2010, Baghdad outlined an ambitious goal to produce more than 12 million barrels per day within six years, up from 2.6 million b/d with the help of oil companies, including the US's  ExxonMobil, Lukoil of Russia, the UK's BP and Royal Dutch Shell, CNPC of China, Petronas of Malaysia and Eni of Italy. However analysts have long said Iraq's plan to quadruple its oil production by 2017 was unlikely to be met.

Most agree that the target is unobtainable, and expect that the target will soon officially be scaled down. Indeed, oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi recently said that he expects to see to eight million b/d by 2017 up from 2.7 million d/d currently, a figure which is still seen as optimistic by some, in part because of mounting constraints posed by pipelines and export terminals.

Ghadhban said "a number of production capacity scenarios of 13.5 million b/d, 9.5 million b/d and six million b/d are being studied in terms of cost, revenue and cash flow using classical profitability indicators."

There is no doubt Iraq will be one of the world's major sources of future oil, but export issues, legislative hurdles, water shortages, and infrastructure and transport problems will continue to weigh on the sector, and dampen its ability to meet production targets.

As Kenneth Fairfax, minister-counselor for economic affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad put it: "What is quite literally the trillion dollar-question, is can Iraq step up to the plate?"

For now there is a cautious sense of optimism that Iraq can, as companies move forward to increase production.

© The Gulf 2011


12 Aug 2011

Government plans to create 4 million jobs by 2015

By Jaafar Wanan

AK News

 
Baghdad - The Iraqi Planning and Development Ministry has plans to create four million jobs in the course of the next three years, the minister said today. 

Ali Shukri told AKnews that the opportunities which will be provided through the public and private sectors with a view to decreasing the poverty rate from 23% to 16% by the end of 2014.
Iraqi private sector employment systems are ad hoc with most employees deprived of basic rights, such as unionisation and the right to a pension after retirement. Most Iraqis are therefore, interested in work in the public sector.

The Ministry's first step towards this end is to assign procedures and plans to rehabilitate the administrative organs of the state and organize the allocation of posts.

Since the peak of economic woes in 2006 the Iraqi economy has stabilized. The unemployment rate has fallen from 52% to 15%, poverty from 45% to 23%, and inflation from 65% to 6%.  

However, government figures show the unemployment rate for young males stands at 30.2% nearly double the rate for women, 16%.
© AK News 2011




11 Aug 2011

 

Ministry plans $70bn national rail network AK News


Baghdad - Ministry of Transport plans for a $70bn rail network that links the Iraqi provinces with high-speed trains travelling at 240 km per hour have been submitted to the cabinet for approval, says a senior ministry official.

Deputy Transport Minister Bangin Rekani told AKnews today that the project has been submitted to the Council of Ministers as part of a bid to connect Iraq to its neighboring countries, develop internal transportation and boost the Iraqi economy.

"The ministry has insufficient funds to implement the project, and therefore is awaiting the approval of the council of ministers to dedicate extra funds."
© AK News 2011

Foreign investment begins to pour into Iraq

July 25th 2011

By Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Foreign investment is beginning to pour into Iraq this year, fueled by a growing confidence in the country's stability.

  • Iraqi workers install pipes at a sewage station in Sadr City, a Shiite slum in Baghdad. It's one of several infrastructure projects underway.

    By Ahmad Al-Rubaye, AFP/Getty Images

    Iraqi workers install pipes at a sewage station in Sadr City, a Shiite slum in Baghdad. It's one of several infrastructure projects underway.



The amount of new foreign investment deals is on track to double this year, according to a report by Dunia Frontier Consultants, which specializes in emerging markets. In the first half of this year, Iraq attracted $45.6 billion in foreign investment, about $3 billion more than all of last year, the report says.

The rush of investment this year reflects a new confidence in Iraq's stability and a reduction in risk, analysts say. "This is money talking," said Campbell Harvey, professor of finance at Duke University in North Carolina.

U.S. companies have been slow to get in on the investment opportunities in Iraq, even lagging behind countries that opposed the war, such as France.

Last year, French companies represented 9.9% of the foreign investment in Iraq, compared with 4.7% for American companies, the Dunia report says.

"U.S. companies tend to be more risk-averse than their European counterparts and certainly their regional counterparts," said Nicholas Skibiak, emerging markets director at Dunia.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been urging American companies to consider investments in Iraq and pushing the U.S. government to more aggressively represent the interests of American businesses in the country.


"We have invested a lot in Iraq over the last decade in blood and treasure, and it is really unfortunate if we permit our trading partners to sort of capitalize on that investment to our disadvantage," said Lionel Johnson, vice president of Middle East affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Skibiak said there is an "almost perverse irony" in that the United States was accused by war critics of going to war to exploit Iraq's oil and other resources and "yet as a country we have very little to show for it."

This year, U.S. companies have shown more of an appetite for investing in Iraq. In the first six months of this year, U.S. companies represented 6.4% of the foreign investment in Iraq.

'Re-evaluate the Iraqi market'

U.S. business interest is growing. Iraq's commercial attaché office in Washington received 2,251 applications to do business in Iraq in the first half of this year, compared with 1,369 in the same period last year.

Still, Naufel Alhassen, Iraq's commercial counselor in the U.S., said public perception of Iraq remain out of date.

"American business needs to re-evaluate the Iraqi market with a vision of 2011 — not with eyes of 2006 and 2007," he said.

He said Iraq's market is growing fast and that U.S. businesses risk missing opportunities. "If you keep waiting you are going to miss it," Alhassan said.

South Korea was the largest foreign investor this year, representing 24% of the foreign money flowing into Iraq, according to the report.

Businesses in the rest of the world seemed poised to exploit the market's growth. Foreign investors' confidence grew and foreign dollars flowed in after Iraq's political landscape stabilized. Following months of political fighting after national elections last March, Iraqi political leaders agreed on a government in December.

Nouri al-Maliki remained as prime minister and Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani was kept in the government as deputy prime minister for energy. Investors saw the continuity as a positive sign. "A lot of people through 2010 were sitting on sidelines watching the national elections," Skibiak said.

This year they came off the sidelines.

Many needs and much money

After decades of war and sanctions, Iraq's needs are great, and it has money to spend. Iraq ranks fourth in the world in proven oil reserves, and the rising price of oil has buoyed its cash reserves.

Iraq has been issuing contracts to develop its oil fields and has sought help to rebuild its decrepit electrical grid in an effort to keep up with skyrocketing demand as people buy TVs, air conditioners and other appliances.

Iraq is also facing a housing shortage. Last year, Iraq announced it was awarding a contract of $11.28 billion to a Turkish consortium to help rebuild Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite slum in Baghdad, according to the Dunia report.

The contract calls for building 75,000 homes, in addition to schools and mosques in a slum where sewage puddles in the streets and families are crammed in aging buildings.

Analysts caution that Iraq remains a risky place to invest. Corruption remains a problem, and there is always the risk of renewed violence and political instability. "The level of risk is still high," Harvey said.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2011-07-19-foreign-investment-iraq-investors-business_n.htm


Oil Ministry in Iraq recruits 1,114 energy workers
Erbil, July 20 2011 (AKnews) - Iraq's Oil Ministry

Iraq's Oil Ministry
announced on Wednesday that it has recruited 1,114 new employees for the state oil companies under its jurisdiction.





The successful applicants for the public sector posts are holders of specialized diplomas and degrees in the oil sector from technical oil institutes and other energy related institutions.

Iraq is aiming to increase its oil production from around 2.5 million barrels per day at present to 12 million bpd over the coming years. Such an increase requires a significant increase in skilled manpower, the ministry says.

According to the statement, the newly employed graduates will be placed in the companies belonging to the ministry including the north and south oil companies.

Although Iraq sits atop the world's fourth largest oil reserves, three decades of successive wars and international sanctions have left the country's infrastructure and state industries in a poor state of repair.

Federal income from oil exports currently constitutes more than 95% of Iraq's economy.
© AK News


Economy
500 MW power stations contracted to be built in Niniveh

07/07/2011 20:40:00

Mosul (NINA) – The Ministry of Electricity has contracted the German company MBH to construct 5 power generating station, 100 MW each, in Mosul.

Chairman of Niniveh’s Energy and Electricity Committee told NINA “The Ministry has signed a deferred payment contract with the German company to construct 5 power stations, of 100 MW-capacity each, totaling 500 MW to be constructed within 12 months at the cost of $ 625 million to be paid after two years from the date the stations’ enter into service.

It is worth mentioning that this is the Ministry of Electricity’s third contract concluded in two months; following a contract concluded with the Korean STX Company to construct 25 power stations with total capacity of 2500 MW and another contract with a Canadian firm to construct 10 power stations of 1000 MW total capacity; they all will generate up to 4000 MW all to enter service by summer 2012. / End.





 "Democracy For Iraq"



See attached documents at the bottom of the page concerning




Economy
500 MW power stations contracted to be built in Niniveh

07/07/2011 20:40:00

Mosul (NINA) – The Ministry of Electricity has contracted the German company MBH to construct 5 power generating station, 100 MW each, in Mosul.

Chairman of Niniveh’s Energy and Electricity Committee told NINA “The Ministry has signed a deferred payment contract with the German company to construct 5 power stations, of 100 MW-capacity each, totaling 500 MW to be constructed within 12 months at the cost of $ 625 million to be paid after two years from the date the stations’ enter into service.

It is worth mentioning that this is the Ministry of Electricity’s third contract concluded in two months; following a contract concluded with the Korean STX Company to construct 25 power stations with total capacity of 2500 MW and another contract with a Canadian firm to construct 10 power stations of 1000 MW total capacity; they all will generate up to 4000 MW all to enter service by summer 2012. / End.


By Benjamin Bahney, Renny McPherson, and Howard J. Shatz

Osama bin Laden's death will not end the operations of terrorist cells linked to him or his affiliates. But every bit of evidence pieced together sheds more light on how terrorist groups operate and helps counter the terrorist threat. The computers, flash drives, and documents captured in the bin Laden operation -- along with whatever else may yet be discovered in the compound -- therefore hold enormous promise for future counterterrorism action.

Financial documents previously captured by the U.S. military and Iraqi forces show the value of such evidence by revealing the internal operations of al-Qa'ida's Iraq affiliate, al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI), in Anbar Province throughout 2005 and 2006, the time and site of its peak power. These documents enabled one of the most comprehensive assessments of an al-Qa'ida linked group, put to rest conflicting theories about its funding and membership, and revealed it to be a highly systemized bureaucratic organization that requires bottom line accountability.

AQI is one of several worldwide affiliates of bin Laden's umbrella al-Qa'ida movement. Analysis of its records can apply to other, similar groups.

Top-tier AQI commanders in Anbar set strategic goals that local leaders carried out with their own tactical decisions. Even as U.S. military and Iraqi forces repeatedly removed AQI leadership, the group's structure let it replace staff fast and continue delivery of information and support to members through a system of couriers. A similar courier system was reportedly a key element to the intelligence that led the U.S. military to Osama bin Laden.

The documents show that Anbar Province AQI was self-financing, contrary to speculation that it could only function with international donations. The group was so profitable that it sent revenue to associates in other provinces of Iraq and perhaps further afield. The group raised millions of dollars annually from simple theft and resale of such high-ticket items as cars, generators, and electrical cable. Roadside shakedowns garnered more money and goods, including even a truckload of pajamas. A central unit of AQI's hierarchy required operatives to keep records of even the smallest outlay and to turn over their "take" to upper-level leaders who made spending decisions.

Attacks by AQI carried recurring overhead costs. These included salaries for operatives, safe houses, transportation, weapons, and a crude form of life insurance for the wounded or for families of those killed. In contrast, most civilian households in Anbar lacked any form of insurance.

AQI pay was hardly competitive considering the risk of violent death. The documents showed an annual household income for each group member of about $1,330, compared with $5,800 for the average local citizen. This suggests that money was not the primary motivation for joining the group.

Cash flowed fast in and out of Anbar AQI's central command. About every two weeks AQI doled out funds to pay not only for attacks, but also for housing, medical, and bureaucratic needs. Top-tier leaders generated media releases, kept prisoners, issued judicial rulings, and conducted internal communications, all in addition to planning operations.

This al-Qa'ida affiliate did not seem to depend on foreign jihadists, nor on international donations. This suggests that the group's structure and ability to generate local funding and recruits may keep it an effective force long after U.S. troops have left.

Aside from the valor of the American forces who carried out the bin Laden operation, the effort against bin Laden appears to have been the result of a steady long-term commitment and careful intelligence collection and analysis. That holds lessons for the ongoing effort against his offshoots.

Even with bin Laden dead and populations in democratic revolt across the Middle East, a U.S. commitment to counterterrorism will need to remain in place. The U.S. will need to provide help with intelligence, military training and aid, and law enforcement assistance to our partner nations in order to help foster effective security forces, mature intelligence agencies, and more effective governments across the Middle East and South Asia. It will be especially important to continue to ferret out terrorist revenue sources and spending patterns. Tracking the flow of funds and lines of communication within terrorist groups will continue to expose operatives, operations, and strategic insights on the inner workings of these groups worldwide.

While many Americans marked the death of the man who planned the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. will have to be vigilant about the continued threat. Bin Laden is dead but many terrorist organizations remain viable. Understanding the internal workings of terrorist groups is a good start to countering their threat and bringing them to justice.

Ben Bahney and Renny McPherson are adjunct staff and Howard J. Shatz is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. You can read the entire study at www.rand.org.
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Mark Aldrich,
Jul 26, 2016, 1:09 AM
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Mark Aldrich,
Jul 26, 2016, 1:09 AM
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Mark Aldrich,
Jul 26, 2016, 1:09 AM
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Mark Aldrich,
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