The ability of the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq to receive direct calls from larger container vessels is being progressively boosted by the new terminal development program at Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT).
A significant milestone was reached at the end of August with the servicing of Evergreen’s 5652-TEU capacity Ever Useful with a LOA of 285 meters, beam of 40 meters, and a GRT of 69,246 tons. The vessel is by far the largest to call Berth 27 at BGT.
In attendance during the arrival of the boxship and marking the significance of the occasion were Chief Atheal, Iraq Ports Authority-North Port Umm Qasr Director; and Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Europe, Middle East and Africa Regional Head.
“ICTSI is pleased to take a leading role in investing in Iraq’s port infrastructure, enabling the country to connect most efficiently with global liner services. The ability to serve direct calls from large vessels delivers has reduced cost and cargo transit times, and brings other key benefits to cargo importers,” emphasized Madsen.
Phillip Marsham, BGT Chief Executive Officer, further noted: “BGT’s investment program is designed to match the requirements of a growing Iraqi economy and the need to accommodate ever larger liner vessels. The call of the Ever Useful symbolizes how far Umm Qasr has come in improving port infrastructure to meet today’s global logistic chain requirements. It also clearly demonstrates the growing confidence of container lines in the economy of Iraq and the associated container trade growth.”
BGT handled 4,500 TEUs during the call, and achieved a net move rate of over 50 moves per hour with a two-quay crane operation.
The accompanying picture shows the Ever Useful alongside Berth 27 at the new terminal complex which, upon completion in 2019, will feature a total berth length of 600 meters, maximum draught of 14 meters alongside, and terminal area of 30 hectares. This will raise BGT’s annual handling capacity to 1,000,000 TEUs. Supporting equipment acquisitions include the installation of three super post-Panamax quay cranes and seven additional rubber tired gantries to optimise the landside handling operations. The overall terminal design enables the handling of vessels of up to 9,000 TEU capacity.
The Ever Useful operates in the Asia–Middle East service, offering extensive Asia coverage and select calls in the Middle East.