Iraq General Commission of Free Zones said it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Basra International Oil and Gas Hub (BIOGH) to set up a specialized oil and gas free zone on a 11 million sq m land at Khor Al-Zubair area in Basra.
The specialized free zone, located adjacent to Iraq’s strategic energy port, will provide a mixed-use site for manufacturing, storage and servicing of the expanding requirements of Iraq’s oil and gas sector, remarked Dr Sabah Al-Qaisi, the director general of the Iraq General Commission of Free Zones.
As per the JV, the Iraq General Commission of Free Zones will carry out all free zone administrative functions and together with the appropriate entities, facilitate on-site customs clearance and the provision of work permits.
The development will provide all of the benefits of a free zone for the oil and gas logistics supply chain and will include permanent residential accommodation and recreation facilities for users of the zone in a state of the art secure environment.
The free zone will be entirely self-sufficient in terms of power generation, water, telecommunications, and waste management processing.
Established in 2009 by JM Moore, and T O’Donnell, BIOGH will be the developer of the project with responsibility for the construction and design, infrastructure, project financing, marketing and management of the special free zone.
The BIOGH free zone will also provide all users with long term agreements and a fast track process for regulatory approvals, said Dr Al Qaisi.
According to a study, the BIOGH project will employ 10,000 Iraqi nationals over an initial period of 12 years with the number increasing during the life of the project. Besides, it will also provide substantial economic benefits for the regional economy.
“The creation of the BIOGH free zone is the most significant investment contract entered into by the Commission,” said Dr Al-Qaisi.
“It will be the second largest oil and gas free zone in the world, and will greatly increase the free zone’s contribution to the economy of Iraq by attracting significant foreign direct investment and modern technology,” he added.