Q&A: Farhan Mohsen al-Fartosi, head of Iraqi Ports

Iraq’s ports company chief talks about post-Beirut security, a tanker dispute with the Basra Oil Company, and managing the risk of coronavirus to his company.
Q&A: Farhan Mohsen al-Fartosi, head of Iraqi Ports
Farhan Mohsen al-Fartosi, the director general of the state-run General Company for Ports of Iraq, in his Basra office on Aug. 12, 2020. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - Since he took over the state-run General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) in June, Farhan Mohsen al-Fartosi has had to scramble to make sure no ammonium nitrate was at risk in Basra following the Beirut port explosion, and entered a dispute with Iraq’s largest crude producer over control of maritime logistics in the oil sector.

The limited dangerous materials were secure due to compliance with international-grade systems, he said. The Basra Oil Company (BOC), however, still wants GCPI’s business shuttling oil tankers to terminals.

Meanwhile, port revenues have been impacted by the fall in trade during the coronavirus pandemic – one-third of which comes from the oil sector work, a senior ports official said.

“We're ready to engage with [the BOC] to solve the dispute in a friendly manner and according to the law,” Fartosi said in an interview with Iraq Oil Report in his Basra office. “At the same time we are hoping for their cooperation with us.”

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