International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has signed an agreement with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Basra Mas for the second phase of expansion at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) in North Port, Umm Qasr, Iraq.

The $100m expansion will see the development of two new berths, which will cover approximately 20ha of yard area.

It is expected to increase BGT’s annual container handling capacity by 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to a total of 1.2 million TEU.

The berths are also set to feature quay and landside container handling systems to facilitate the handling of vessels of up to 10,000TEU capacity.

The facilities will provide roughly 600m of continuous berthing space when combined with the adjacent Berth 27.

ICTSI’s subsidiary BGT will carry out the expansion and construction is expected to begin immediately.

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ICTSI chairman and president Enrique Razon Jr said: “This new $100m investment follows hot on the heels of ICTSI’s development of Berth 27 and the rehabilitation and upgrade of berths 19, 20 and 21, a $150m investment.

“This new $100m investment follows hot on the heels of ICTSI’s development of Berth 27 and the rehabilitation and upgrade of berths 19, 20 and 21.”

“Our commitment to provide international standard port facilities and services in Iraq is plain to see.

“It also represents the fruit of a positive working relationship with the Iraq Ministry of Transport, General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) and Governorate of Basra, as well as other government agencies.

“This combined effort will, when the new facilities are completed in 18 months time, deliver the new facilities that are essential to support Iraq’s key economic objectives, including the resurgence of the non-oil economy.”

The expansion is slated to attract larger capacity vessels into the port of Umm Qasr upon completion.