DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NAWAH Port Management (NPM), a business unit of North America Western Asia Holdings, announced today that it has entered into a formal agreement with Iraq’s Ministry of Transportation and the General Company for Ports of Iraq to quadruple the size of its terminal operations at the Port of Basra (also known as Al Maqal Port), Iraq’s historic port located in Basra’s city center on the Shatt Al Arab waterway.
By expanding its operations to a second terminal, NAWAH is building upon its commitment to modernize the Port of Basra, revitalizing the Shatt Al Arab as a major trade lane for industrial and commercial cargo alike.
“Basra is one of the most dynamic, fastest growing cities in the Arabian Gulf,” said Ali Hazim, a leading business owner and major trader of Basra. “Having state-of-the-art, customer focused shipping and logistics capabilities conveniently located in downtown Basra will be key to supporting our city’s continued growth. NAWAH has delivered upon and continues to fulfill its far-reaching commitment to our city.”
NPM’s first modernized container terminal, opened in October 2013, is already proving to be an important gateway for a full spectrum of cargo – from consumer goods to meet the needs of Iraq’s burgeoning middle class to critical equipment and materiel fueling Iraq’s massive oil and gas development efforts. Imported and exported goods are moving smoothly between the Gulf and NPM’s container terminal into the city of Basra and throughout Basra Province. A significant scale of cargo is also moving to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, capital city Baghdad and beyond.
Beyond a full array of imported goods, NPM has helped spur the export of one of Iraq’s quintessential products – dates. In the past two months, NPM exported more than 4,100 metric tons in 250 containers from its terminal at the Port of Basra to the United Arab Emirates to reach markets throughout the Middle East.
“We are immensely proud to be working hand in hand with our Iraqi partners to further Basra’s growth and reemergence as a strategic trading center, bridging East and West,” said Paul Brinkley, NAWAH’s president and CEO. “Beyond our goal to create a world-class port operation, we are deeply committed to building local talent and we’ve already demonstrated that through our staff – a team comprised of Iraqi managers, professionals and operators, trained in world-class technology and equipment operation.”
As part of this most recent 10-year agreement between NAWAH and the Iraq government, NPM will rehabilitate Berth #13’s 150-meter waterfront and its 40,000-square meter cargo laydown yard. Once construction culminates on the berth, it will join NPM’s Berth #14 operations as the only fully containerized terminals at the Port of Basra.
“The demands on Iraq’s ports continue to grow significantly every month,” Brinkley said. “NAWAH Port Management is committed to providing a viable alternative for local traders and international companies to move time-sensitive, high-demand cargo into Iraq. Recent announcements by the governments of Iraq and Iran regarding the upcoming restoration of the Shatt al Arab to full deep draft only increase the importance of our operation in Basra’s city center. As the market demands continue to increase, our expansion to Berth #13 will help us support that growth.”
NPM signed its first contract with GCPI in October 2012 to construct and operate a modern container terminal at the Port of Basra’s Berth #14. Handling containerized, break-bulk and project cargo, NPM operations support regularly scheduled feeder service from the United Arab Emirates to downtown Basra.
“NAWAH serves as an exemplary model for Western investment and joint-operating agreements in Iraq,” said Captain Omran Thani, director general of Iraq’s port authority, the General Company for Ports of Iraq. “Combining its Western business know-how with its deep respect for Iraq, its people and its culture, NAWAH truly stands apart.”
“Rebuilding Basra into the vibrant commercial city that it’s historically been is more than a business venture for NAWAH,” Brinkley added. “We are extraordinarily proud to be a part of the fabric of this city and to play a role in this history-making moment.”
North America Western Asia Holdings is focused on high-return frontier market opportunities. Dedicated to the communities it invests, NAWAH establishes and maintains strategic, long-term local partnerships, while maintaining the most rigorous international standards of transparency and accountability. More information about NAWAH and its port management business can be found at www.nawah.com and www.nawahportmanagement.com.