BLP advises on Mega Oil & Gas Free Zone Project in Iraq
International law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), is advising Basra International Oil and Gas Hub Ltd. (BIOGH) on the creation of a specialized Oil and Gas free zone, at Khor Al-Zubair, Basra.
The specialized free zone, totalling 11 million square meters, located directly adjacent to Iraq’s strategic Oil and Gas Khor Al-Zubair port, will provide a mixed-use site for manufacturing, storage and servicing of the expanding requirements of Iraq’s Oil and Gas sector.
The transaction is headed in London by BLP International Real Estate Partner, Chris de Pury and Projects and Infrastructure Partner, Mark Richards who are providing BIOGH with international advice on shareholders’ arrangements, structuring, financing and advice on implementation of the project assisted by Associates, Emma Lawrenson and Kieran Saunders.
“Whilst the signing of the Joint Venture Agreement between the Iraq General Commission of Free Zones and our clients (BIOGH) is an important milestone, we are delighted to be able to provide strategic advice to BIOGH on structuring and delivering this mega project”, said Chris.
Mark Richards added, “The sheer scale of the site is staggering, to put the 11 million sqm. into context it is approximately 1,500 football pitches – it is a massive development site. The location of the free zone to Iraq’s strategic Oil and Gas Khor Al-Zubair port will provide huge opportunities for Iraq’s Oil and Gas sector along with the benefits associated with a free zone for the wider logistics supply chain.”
The creation of the BIOGH Oil and Gas Free Zone has created a lot of attention and is seen as one of the most significant investment contracts entered into by the Iraqi Free Zones Commission. The BIOGH project will employ around 10,000 Iraq Nationals and will provide substantial economic benefits for the regional economy.
It is also planned that the free zone will have dedicated power generation, water, telecommunications and waste processing. The BIOGH Oil & Gas Free Zone will also provide all users with long term agreements and expedited procedures for regulatory approvals.
This is one of three mega projects in Iraq that BLP is currently advising and the region is an area of great opportunity for foreign direct investment.
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