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There is huge scope for the improvement of Iraq’s rail network, which in 2004 was running at just 10 per cent of its capacity. The situation has improved markedly since then. The 310-mile Baghdad-Basra line has started carrying passengers again, thanks to improvements in security. The Transport Ministry plans to reopen the western minerals railway by the end of 2009. The line is a strategic link between Baghdad and a number of major industrial sites. It runs from Akashat near the Jordanian border to the main AlQaim (Syrian border) – Baghdad line and connects to several fertiliser and concrete plants in Anbar province. The Ministry is assessing the safety of a key bridge which has been rebuilt following bomb damage. This line is also the first stage of a proposed rail link between the Bayji and Anbar oil refineries. • The first major rail construction project to take place in Iraq since 2003 will be a 285km railway line around Baghdad, connected to the country’s main rail network. The $5.6 billion project will take six years to complete. • The Ministry of Transport will invite large international companies to participate in this project, whose objective is to allow transit freight cargoes to by-pass Baghdad, freeing up transport capacity within the city, improving safety and reducing environmental damage. The project also includes the construction of freight yards and specialized storage facilities outside the city. • At the end of March, French, German and American companies presented offers the Baghdad city authority to build a city metro. The government has said that it will allocated £2.1 billion from the state budget to finance the 41 station underground network. • Austrian and Russian companies have proposed a scheme to the Kurdistan Regional Government for the construction of a rail network to link the three provinces within the Iraqi Kurdistan region. • Upgrades are planned for railway lines between Basra and Umm Qasar and between Baghdad and Mosul in the north and Rabia, near the Syrian border. New railway lines have also been proposed from Bayji to Aleppo in Syria and from Mosul to Turkey. These lines could eventually form part of the long term programme to link most GCC countries by rail and to connect the Gulf railway network to Turkey, Jordan, Iran and the Causasus via Iraq.
Sector Brief Transportation
Transportation opportunities multiply
• The Ministry of Transport will open a section of its minerals railway between Baghdad and Fallujah by mid-February. • The National Investment Commission says it will assess further private sector participation in a national strategy. These will include maintaining and upgrading track, rehabilitating railway stations, and repairing or replacing rolling stock and maintenance equipment. The rail network consists of 2,400 km of track. There are approximately 120 stations. The railway company has 187 locomotives and 1,685 units of rolling stock, for both passengers and freight. The main lines are: • Baghdad-Basrah-Umm Qasr port • Baghdad-Ninawa-Yurubiyah (links to Turkish system) • Baghdad-Haditha-Qubaysah (links to Syrian system) • Baghdad-Kirkuk-Arbil • Bayji refinery-Al Qaim fertiliser plant
Better security and growing economic activity mean the volume of freight and frequency of travel by individuals is increasing rapidly. Every part of Iraq’s transport system requires investment as accelerating demand for air, sea port, road and rail freight services puts mounting strain on existing capacities. Transport, whether of people or goods, was one of the sectors which suffered most under the conditions of violence and instability which characterised the years immediately after the fall of the Saddam regime. But now it is a sector of great opportunities. With a budget of just £313 million for the coming year, Transport Minister Amer Abdul-Jabbar Ismail says he is eager to involve private investors. “We don’t have enough money for our projects, so we will have to go to outside investors for funding,” he told Agence France Presse in January this year. The Ministry of Transport is responsible for the management, planning and policy of the country’s transport system, except for highways which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Construction and Housing. There are a number of state organisations which manage individual parts of this system. These include: • Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority • General Company of Iraqi Ports • General Company of Iraqi Railways
• State Commission for Roads and Bridges Priority developments in the sector include • Improving the facilities at the main airports including at Baghdad and Basra • Building a new deepwater port at El Faw • Revamping the railway network • Upgrading the country’s roads
“We need international companies to come and help us develop and upgrade our transport infrastructure. The opportunities are here, and we will do what we can to help our partners succeed.” Amer Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, Transport Minister
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There are extensive opportunities available to the private sector in the road transport sector. Most road freight is already carried out by private companies. The Ministry of Transport is exploring the potential for setting up rapid transit bus network, which would include dedicated bus lanes in major cities. Repairs to both roads and bridges which were damaged in the 2003 conflict have been extensive and are ongoing.
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Contacts: For general information about investment opportunities in Iraq or the investment process, please visit the Iraqi National Investment Commission website at www.investpromo.gov.iq or email at email@example.com.
For information about specific sectors and opportunities, or to arrange a visit, please contact the National Investment Commission through one of the contacts below. Telephone (English): + 964 7901 970 107 Telephone (Arabic): + 964 7704 435 146 Email (English): firstname.lastname@example.org Email (Arabic): email@example.com
Transportation map of Iraq
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Cranes at the dock Erbil International Airport • The renovation of Erbil International Airport in Iraqi Kurdistan should be completed during 2009. Al-Faw is located at the mouth of the Shat alArab. wreckage from the Iran-Iraq war means that Al Faw is only accessible by smaller vessels. Iraqi Airways currently provides limited flights to Baghdad.000 t/month. Umm Qasr In the past three years Umm Qasr has operated at an average of 67 per . The remaining 17 berths are all general break cargos. the busiest airports were: Average flights per day Baghdad Basra Najaf Erbil Sulemaniyah Mosul Source: CBI research • Iraqi Airways is overhauling its ageing fleet and has already placed substantial orders with international companies worth £3. • An international operator may be brought in to manage the lessdeveloped South Port area with general cargo. Airlines An increasing number of airlines now fly to Iraq and their number will increase. • In 2008 Iraqi Airways also ordered ten new aircraft from Canada’s Bombadier. the Finance Ministry ordered 40 aircraft from Boeing on behalf of Iraqi Airways. So as the oil licensing tender process advances during this year. bulk. Basrah International Airport • Lightly-used during the Saddam era. Two of them are deep water. Al Maq’al has 15 berths. The Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC) and the Ministry of Transport plan to develop 16 cities in the airport’s hinterland. The transport minister has said that airlines that want to open routes to Iraq will be given immediate approvals. it will become one of the main entry points for IOC executives. In March 2009. Record numbers of vessels have been docking at Iraq’s ports in recent months.8 billion. The increase in traffic follows a successful campaign by the Iraqi security forces in 2008 to regain control of Umm Qasr. • In March 2008. It is currently used as a dock for fishermen. Two of the main sea ports Khor az-Zubayr and Umm Qasr are located on the Khor az-Zubayr channel. The Ministry of Transport began receiving formal expressions of interest in late 2005. there is a sugar berth operated by the Ministry of Industry & Minerals. and passenger operations. Iraqi Airways. Germany. • Transport minister Amir AbdulJabbar is considering the lease of civilian aircraft from Turkey. • The mayor of Diwaniya has invited expressions of interest from international companies to build an airport to the east of the city. capable of servicing the whole region. More than £5 million has been invested in the port since 2003 to bring it back into operation following more than 20 years of inaction. Additionally. this will be the location of Basrah Grand Port. China’s Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) has signed a £21. A business plan has been prepared for the Airport and Khor Al Zubayr Sea Port Khor Al Zubayr. Additional crane and offloading machinery is also required. from local militias. It handles cargo of about 120. including one grain berth and one container berth. and container facilities under a Long Term Concessionary Agreement. It will be the gateway to the main oil-producing region in the south. general cargo. which supports just 10-15 flights daily. Baghdad International Airport • At present the largest and most active airport is Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) which the government intends to develop as a key business hub. Shipping traffic rose 46 per cent during February. 11 airlines are already using the airport. The airport facilitated travel for Iraqi pilgrims to Saudi Arabia during the 2007 Hajj season. for feeder vessels and dhows. This formerly military airport is expanding to take international flights bringing pilgrims to the holy sites in Najaf and Karbala. Al Faw Sea Port • In the future. which could require investments of more than £35 billion. The first CRL900 was delivered to Erbil in October 2008. Increased operations depend greatly on dredging and wreck removal in the Shatt al-Arab On 24 March United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officials presented the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) with the inaugural draft of a Civil Aviation Master Plan. it will be an international transport hub. according to the stateowned General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI). At present. which owns and runs all the country’s ports. located just north of Umm Qasr is the major petroleum export hub.1 billion. • Austrian Airlines now provides scheduled service to both Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports. • In December 2008. 89 7 9 24 17 7 Seaports Iraq has five ports on its short Gulf coastline. Developing this project could cost £3. the national flag carrier is rapidly expanding it scope of operations. this airport is of great strategic significance. There are also two river ports on this waterway which runs inland to the city. Iraq’s only deep-sea commercial port. India and Qatar. The rest are for general cargo. under a shorter contract. • In November 2008 GCIP invited international shipping companies to tender for three-year contracts to manage two container berths at Umm Qasr. Extensive dredging to allow access to more ships with deeper drafts will be an ongoing requirement. With the ability to support more than 3.9 million consultancy agreement to operate the airport over the next five years. All the port facilities suffer from ageing infrastructure and lack of storage facilities and as a result operate well below their design capacities Dhow on Shatt Al-Arab Najaf International Airport • Regular international flights to Najaf airport started last July and increased in frequency in January. Abu Falous River Port This is relatively small port. • A separate tender could then be used to select a management company to improve the operation of the relatively well-developed North Port area with container. • The new facility includes a modern runway long enough to take almost any aircraft and a new terminal building. south of Basra city.5 million passengers per year. Others • Emirati Joptir and Iraqi Airways flew the first scheduled international civilian flight since 1991 to Mosul airport from Dubai on 27 February. The Ministry will own the aircraft to prevent Kuwait Airways seizing them in compensation for damages incurred in the 1990 invasion. The first planes will be delivered in 2013. The national flag carrier is planning to add scheduled flights to Bahrain. while much of the existing associated infrastructure needs repair and refurbishment. Warehousing New warehousing capacity is needed at all ports to handle forecast increases in cargo. This represents a huge increase on the current facility. Four of its 12 berths are used for oil and oil products. . Baghdad International Airport Al Maq’al River Port Located in the centre of Basra city on the west of the Shatt al Arab. cent of its 10 million t/yr capacity. Air France-KLM has agreed to help it set up commercial flights to Europe and other international destination. a 100-berth deep water port. This plan for the development of Iraq’s airports and civil aviation may include outsourcing airport management to private operators. A masterplan proposes new facilities and it is likely that international charters will increase rapidly this year.Airports and airlines Iraq’s 22 airports are the prime gateway for most visitors to the country. • BIAP can handle up to 7. The container berths have a stated capacity of 15 containers per hour or 120 containers per 8-hour shift. It has 22 operational berths including two roll-on roll-off. which is 180km south of Baghdad at a cost of approximately £175 million. construction materials and electrical goods. It possesses a fertiliser wharf and three new jetties which handle the import of cars. agriculture products. 100 vessels docked during the month compared to the average of 75. one grain silo and two container berths. Wreck removal and dredging Several Turkish companies have already been commissioned to remove some of the wrecks which block the Shatt al-Arab and other waterways on Iraq’s Gulf coast.5 million passengers per year and is served by a number of scheduled air carriers the Ministry of Transport is currently evaluating different partnership proposals to develop and enhance airport traffic and services. • For more information on what will be one of Iraq’s most important infrastructure projects please refer to the dedicated investment brief. Air France-KLM signed an outline agreement with the Transport Ministry to assist with the renovation of Baghdad aiport’s third terminal and to build new airports elsewhere in the country.
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