Iraq’s long-awaited reconstruction boom has yet to materialise, as Karen Thomas discovers
19 Oct 2011
With short quays and limited handling equipment, Umm Qasr’s state-owned berths are in desperate need of modernisation
Ever since US-led forces toppled president Saddam Hussein in April 2003, shipping lines have expected Iraq to generate significant volume. Iraq’s infrastructure and buildings are ageing and were badly damaged during the upheaval that followed western intervention. But while port development is considered crucial to Iraqi reconstruction, progress has been halting.
In 2008, the Ministry of Transport halted plans to privatise Umm Qasr, Iraq’s only commercial deepwater port. However, in the last two years, it has invited three overseas port operators to upgrade and manage berths at the port that serves the southern city of Basra.
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