Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) has welcomed its largest container vessel at Iraq’s Port of Umm Qasr, where a new terminal development programme has progressively boosted capacity.
Evergreen’s 5,652 teu-capacity Ever Useful, with a length of 285 m, beam of 40 m and a weight of 69,246 tonnes, called at Berth 27 at the end of August.
BGT, operated by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), handled 4,500 teu during the call and achieved a net move rate of over 50 moves per hour with a two-quay crane operation.
BGT’s chief executive officer Phillip Marsham said: “The call of the Ever Useful symbolises 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.”
In 2014, ICTSI signed a contract with the General Company for Ports of Iraq to operate, develop and expand the container facilities at Umm Qasr.
Berth 27 is part of the three new berths planned for the new terminal complex that will feature a total berth length of 600 m, maximum draught of 14 m alongside and a terminal area of 30 ha.
The complex is expected to be completed in 2019 and will raise BGT’s annual handing capacity to 1m teu and the overall terminal design will enable the handling of vessels of up to 9,000 teu.
Three super post-Panamax quay cranes and seven additional rubber-tyre gantry (RTG) cranes will be installed to optimise the landside handling operations.
Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and Europe, Middle East and Africa regional head, said: “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 has reduced cost and cargo transit times and brings other key benefits to cargo importers.”