By James A. Loyola
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has inaugurated two new berths which will enable the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s main dry cargo port, the ability to handle container vessels of up to 14,000TEU.
The inauguration ceremony marked both the opening for business of the two new berths, Berths 25 and 26, and the completion of ICTSI’s overall US$250-million investment program at its Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).
Located in Umm Qasr’s North Port, BGT operates a high-capacity container terminal together with specialized facilities for the handling of general cargo, ro-ro, dry bulk and project cargo for the oil and gas sector.
Earlier development included the construction of Berth 27, adjacent to the new berths, with the three berths now offering a combined continuous berth length of 600m. Design depth alongside Berths 25 and 26 is 14 meters.
The two new berths are extensively fitted out with state-of-the-art container handling equipment and IT systems.
Three new quayside gantry cranes, each with an outreach of 56 meters and able to handle up to 21 rows of containers on the deck of a vessel, are installed on the quayside.
On the landside seven new, six high stacking, rubber-tired gantries (RTGs) join three existing units bringing the total fleet to 10 RTGs.
“ICTSI’s completion of our multi-phase US$250-million investment program highlights our commitment to Iraq and our readiness to meet the challenge of providing much needed, brand-new port infrastructure and handling technology,” said ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon.
He added that, “we are pleased to lead the way for Umm Qasr to serve higher capacity container vessels, up to and including the so-called ‘New Panamax’ class (14,000TEU), and as a result to open the door for cargo importers and exporters to benefit from substantial scale economies.”