Washington, DC – December 10, 2007
Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Dr. Karim W. Hasan, is urging U.S. companies to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq’s electricity sector by bidding on Ministry of Electricity projects. “We have the money, the manpower, and the fuel, but we need the material and the supervision”, Minister Karim said today at the U.S. Energy Association’s offices in Washington, DC. “I am here to urge U.S. companies to participate in Iraqi reconstruction”, said Minister Karim. The Ministry of Electricity plans to spend $27 billion from now to 2016 to build new generation and transmission capacity, as well as rehabilitate existing plants and equipment, in order to fill the 4,000 MW gap between current capacity and projected demand. In 2009 alone, the Ministry is seeking participation in projects for 2,260 MW of new generation capacity, and the rehabilitation of an additional 960 MW. Iraq also has bigger plans for its electrical system and is working with the Gulf Cooperation Council on long-term plans to serve as a conduit for off-season (winter) export of excess power to European markets (via Turkey) and with the World Bank on a new regulatory scheme that would permit the move from an exclusively publicly-owned system, to a privately owned system.
In the near-term, however, the Minister emphasized the urgent need for U.S. companies to bid on current projects. The Ministry is posting these projects on its website: http://www.moelc.gov.iq/ (click on “Tenders” on the right side). Minister Karim also emphasized the readiness of his staff to engage with companies who have questions about these projects: “Companies will have no difficulties in finding out any specifications of any tender,” Minister Karim promised. Email addresses at the relevant directorates are almost always included in Ministry of Electricity tender announcements. The Ministry is also working with its partners at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to further streamline and improve the tendering process. Minister Karim subsequently spoke at the PowerGen show in New Orleans on Thursday, December 13. Refer to Minister Karim’s powerpoint presentation, “Conquering Disaster: Iraq’s Electricity Story” for more information.
U.S. companies interested in bidding on Ministry of Electricity tenders must first either register their company directly with Iraq’s Ministry of Trade (http://www.br-iraq.com/) or partner with a local firm for their bidding. For help on either process, or to find out more about doing business in Iraq in general and with the Ministry of Electricity in particular, information is available on this webiste and at http://www.buyusa.gov/iraq or contact us directly at: IraqInfo@mail.doc.gov or 1-866-352-IRAQ.
Trade Bank of Iraq President meets with Department of Commerce Officials
Washington, DC – November 27, 2007
The President and Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI), Mr. Hussein Al-Uzri, met with Department of Commerce officials to increase awareness of TBI’s activities and the opportunities it holds for U.S. investors.
TBI was created in November 2003 and entered into contact with a consortium of global financial institutions led by JPMorgan Chase. During its four years of operation TBI has issued 4,600 Letters of Credit (LCs) worth more than US$20 billion, providing reliable financial services needed for trade facilitation in the reconstruction process. TBI serves primarily as the financial baker of Iraqi government procurements offered by Iraqi government ministries and state-owned enterprises, providing bidding companies with the financial security that comes with 100% backing by the world's leading financial institutions.
Furthermore, Mr. Al-Uzri’s mission as TBI’s president and chairman is to develop the most up-to-date mechanism and automation of trade financing operations in line with Iraq’s transition to an open market economy and uphold the principles of good corporate governance. TBI is currently working with the private sector banks in distributing LCs through private Iraqi banks. Next year TBI plans to increase its domestic branch network and its international presence, including representative offices and branches in leading financial centers in Europe and the Middle East. The bank has already recruited top bankers to enhance its governance and procedures, which it will be implementing this year. TBI also plans to further enhance its role in project finance in the coming months and years. Already this year it has supported the first private power plant in Iraq, which is being built in the northern part of the country.
U.S. Department of Commerce officials expressed their continued support of TBI's efforts. For more information about TBI, please visit http://www.tbiraq.com/ to learn more.