American Company to Modernize Historic Iraq Port
North America Western Asia Holdings (NAWAH) agrees to modernize Maqal Port, located in Basra’s urban center on the Shatt al Arab waterway.
The formal agreement is between Iraq’s Ministry of Transportation, the General Company for the Ports of Iraq, and NAWAH.
As part of the agreement, the American company will invest more than $14 million to bring both heavy-lift crane and container handling capabilities to the 93-year-old port. NAWAH will also build a modern container yard adjacent to the port’s berth 14. The company’s agreement with GCPI will extend 10 years.
“The speed at which Iraq can rebuild and become prosperous is greatly dependent upon the capacity of its ports,” said Paul Brinkley, NAWAH’s president and CEO. “The modernization of Maqal Port is an important step in helping Basra regain its status as a key regional trading hub.”
With Umm Qasr Port, Iraq’s only other modern port, some 40 miles away from downtown Basra, this venture will provide a full spectrum of companies representing Basra’s merchant community and industrial base with close, convenient accessibility to a world-class, containerized berth.
“Modernizing Maqal Port is one step in Iraq’s greater vision to improve and expand our country’s shipping and port capabilities,” said Hadi Al-Amiri, Iraq’s minister of transportation. “Having an American company like NAWAH commit to our country’s long-term economic growth sends a strong message to other American and international investors that Iraq is truly ripe for investment.”