Mitsubishi Corporation to lead $110mn upgrade of ports in Basra, Iraq
The project contract, awarded...
Japan’s Mitsubishi has secured a contract to expand and upgrade vital port infrastructure in the Basra region of Iraq.
The project contract, awarded by Company for Ports of Iraq and financed by Japan International Corporation Agency, will see Mitsubishi modernise various berths in order to meet the increasing demand for shipping in and out of the country.
Specifically, the work will involve expanding the oil products berth at Khor Al-Zubair Port and building a new service berth for working ships and service boats at Umm Qasr Port.
- Interview: Siemens Building Technologies talks construction in the Middle East
- McDermott completes $6bn CB&I acquisition, eyes Middle East expansion with Saudi Aramco
- Read the latest edition of Construction Global magazine
Mitsubishi will be leading a team of contractors, which include two Turkish firms - energy infrastructure provider Calik Enerji and construction firm Gap Insaat, both of which part of the Calik Holding group.
The vast majority of materials, chiefly steel structures, will be sourced from Japan.
Khor Al-Zubair and Umm Qasr are the only ports currently in operation in the Basra region, where a system of ports located in the 48km wide tip of the country wedged in between Iran and Kuwait along the Persian Gulf gives Iraq its only outlet to the sea.
Iraq’s economy is extremely dependent on oil production and export, with the World Bank predicting the country’s economic outlook to improve due to a more favourable security environment and recovering oil prices.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.