In 2017, SKA rehabilitated and developed 3 main jetties as part of the long-term contract with the Iraq Ministry of Oil to operate and manage jetty facilities at the Port of Khor Al Zubair. SKA made a significant investment to upgrade the port infrastructure by dredging the jetties 12 meters down, clearing the berths and removing over 40 shipwrecks and associated large debris left over from the Iran-Iraq war.
The dredging doubled the import/export capacity of the port and opened it up to larger commercial container ships and tankers, including Long Range 2 (LR2)-class vessels with 75,000 MT cargo capacity. The construction was carried out after the dredging of the port – a task that was said to be impossible. SKA installed a firefighting system and a firewater line, built a heavy fuel oil handling system, constructed a jetty operations building, rehabilitated marine fenders and set up a site security system.
The jetties are ISPS-approved and IMO registered (IQKAZ 0003) and can securely offload import products from marine vessels at up to 900 m3/hour and load export products at more than 1000 m3/hour using a purpose-built manifold with 4 discharge points. From the port-side jetty, the products flow down the 1.2 km steel pipeline to the SKA-owned tank farm. Over 90% of the refined products (Gasoline, Gasoil, Kerosene) imported into Iraq pass across the SKA jetties, which comprises more than 3.6 billion litres of fuel per year.
The dredging project cemented Basra’s position as the fastest-growing city in the Gulf and gave added impetus to the economic recovery of Iraq. As this is Iraq’s only deep-water harbour, it is also a lifeline to the whole Iraqi economy, allowing the import of foreign supplies and goods, and the export of Iraqi oil and other products to the world.