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Kufan Group and Northern Gulf Partners Launch Transformative Logistics and Business Investment in Iraq

- Basra Government awards investment license to Northern Gulf Partners and Kufan Group for transformation of former military facility into a state-of-the-art business and logistics center.

BASRA, Iraq, January 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an historic ceremony today Dr. Shiltagh Aboud, the governor of Basra province, officially turned over control of the former U.S. military facility known as Camp Bucca to Iraq investment firm Northern Gulf Partners and Iraqi construction firm Kufan Group, who will transform the site into the "Basra Logistics City", a state-of-the-art business and logistics hub addressing the needs of the oil sector as well as, construction, and retail clients in the rapidly growing Iraq economy.

Basra Logistics City is poised to become the preeminent business location in Iraq. Sitting on 300 hecatres (740 acres) inside the perimeter of Camp Bucca, the development lies just 2km from Iraq's primary port of Umm Qasr, 20km from the main border crossing at Safwan, and 40km south of downtown Basra. 7 of Iraq's 9 supergiant oil fields lie within 150km of the Basra Logistics City, making it an excellent staging ground for oilfield supplies. Surrounded by a 15-ft berm and dozens of guard towers, the site benefits from approximately $100 million worth of existing infrastructure including warehouses, roads, advanced water treatment and sewer systems, electricity, a recreational facility, a helicopter landing pad, 1,000 modern and well maintained housing units, and more.

Said Kufan Group founder and CEO Maythem al-Asadi, "As an Iraqi company, we are very pleased to see this project go forward because of the benefits it will bring in terms of jobs and economic development in Iraq. We are working closely with the Basra government as well as the town of Umm Qasr to ensure that this project is a success for all involved."

Northern Gulf Partners was represented at the event by founding partner, Bartle Bull, who said, "This is an extremely important project for Iraq and for companies seeking to do business here. Basra Logistics City offers a secure, convenient, and hassle-free way for companies to set up and get to work in the booming Iraq market. With a host of amenities and easy access, the Basra Logistics City allows companies to focus on their core business and the immense opportunities here in Iraq. The local government here in Basra truly has a vision for the region's development, and their decision to go ahead with the Basra Logistics City is a testament to their commitment to development in Basra and in Iraq."

The project bridges several critical gaps in the Iraqi economy. With Iraq's main port of Umm Qasr already struggling to manage the volume of commercial cargo entering the country, Basra Logistics City provides urgently needed support for Iraq's intermodal commerce, improving logistics and lowering the cost of doing business. The project also provides critical facilities for operations, HSE and other training, and storage, which are virtually non-existent in Basra but are badly needed by oil and oil services companies working in conjunction with Iraq's $150 billion oil development program.

With the handover, NGP/Kufan will open the existing facilities to logistics and storage customers, and will also commence the $245 million first phase of development, which will include additional retail and commercial office and storage space.

About Kufan Group

Kufan Group is Iraq's leading high-specification construction contractor. Founded in 2004 as one of the first private sector Iraqi firms in this field, the firm has grown into the leading Iraqi provider of high quality engineering, construction, and technology solutions, with complementary capabilities in engineering and construction, information technology services, telecommunications, and oilfield services. Kufan has completed or commenced fuel storage, telecommunications, sewerage, and other projects in Iraq totaling over $200 million in Iraq for such demanding clients as the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Iraqi Air Force, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Communications, CH2M Hill, and others-including pioneering experience with construction and design projects in Camp Bucca itself. For further information please visit http://www.kufan-group.com.

About Northern Gulf Partners

Northern Gulf Partners is the leading Iraq investment firm, with offices in Baghdad and New York. NGP provides world-class standards of investment professionalism in Iraq, linking the best global capital to the finest opportunities in this remarkably promising economy. NGP's management has been present in Baghdad and throughout Iraq since early 2003. The firm's clients, partners and counterparties are the country's leading business families and most dynamic entrepreneurs.

NGP's investment philosophy focuses rigorously on three variables: exceptional management, sustainable competitive advantage, and strong market growth potential. The Firm's asset management investment activities include private equity, alternative long-biased asset management in Iraqi and Iraq-related public securities, and real estate. NGP also provides investment banking advisory services, including corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, privatization advice and market entry. For further information please visit http://www.northerngp.com.

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