Q&A: Farhan Muhssin al-Fartousi, head of the General Company for Ports of Iraq

Work on the Grand Fao port project is moving forward, and oil product exports via Khor al-Zubair are getting an upgrade.
Farhan Muhssin al-Fartousi, director general of the Iraqi Ports Company. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

BASRA - Iraq's southern ports are getting a badly needed upgrade, according to Farhan Muhssin al-Fartousi, the director general of the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), in an interview with Iraq Oil Report at his Basra office.

The Grand Fao port project, which is currently being built by South Korea's Daewoo, will be a major hub of commerce, including six berths for oil products. Work is ongoing to deepen the basin, dredge sand to create new berths, and build access roads.

Until that is complete, the Khor al-Zubair port will continue to be used for oil product exports. Capacity is set to increase with a new berth for fuel exports, which is being built with financing from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); and new pipeline systems will help cut down on tanker truck traffic.

Fartousi also discussed tensions with SOMO, Iraq's oil marketing company, as well as the state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC) over which state entities have primary authority over the management of exports, including a dispute over whether new oil-related export infrastructure should be built under a deal between BOC and the UK's Petrofac, or whether the GCPI should take responsibility.

The full interview is available below to Iraq Oil Report subscribers.

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