South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction Company signed a contract worth $2.625 billion for the construction of the new port, container terminal, and access channel.
Proposed more than a decade ago, the plan called for the construction of a second port to expand capacity and relieve some of the pressures on the strategically located Umm Qsar port in southern Iraq. The Iraqi government had said it would fund the project, which was expected to cost more than $3 billion, from oil revenues. Internal problems in Iraq and the decline in oil prices stalled the plans for the port. Work had begun on the first of the breakwaters for the port, which was projected to have a capacity to handle 99 million tons of cargo annually, but the work did not proceed.
Reuters is reporting that the South Korean construction company will undertake the first phase of the project that will include five berths and a container yard. The project is expected to take four years and when completed should have a capacity of three million containers annually.
Daewoo will also carry out the work to create a new, deeper channel for the port, according to comments by Iraqi officials reported by Reuters. The plan for the port called for a deep-water channel to permit the largest containerships to use the port.
Source: Maritime Executive (Click for further of the article)