The annual MEED Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) was told that Iraq is preparing to tender the $1.3bn contract to deliver the marine works component of the first phase of the new Grand Fao Port.
Grand Fao Port Project director Asaad Rashid told, “We are evaluating prequalification documents from about 18 consortiums.” He also added, “We shall issue the shortlist for the project by the end of May or early June. We shall sign the contract by the end of this year.”
The first phase, which is due to be completed in 2018, calls for a port with capacity to handle 2 million 20-foot equivalent-unit (TEUs) containers plus general cargo. The marine works contract is the largest in the port’s first phase and will involve delivering all the land-side facilities the port needs.
Rashid told the AWCS that the port’s ultimate capacity is 20 million TEUs. It will make it the most important gateway for seaborne imports into Iraq and regional markets.
Two construction contracts have been placed for:
- 8km eastern breakwater, which is being built in a $280m design and build contract by Greece’s Archirodon. The 18-month contract is due to be completed this summer.
- 16km western breakwater, for which South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction was awarded the $700m design and build contract at the end of 2013.
The final two elements of the port’s first phase are:
- Land-side facilities, including the railway line, roads, utilities and other units. Companies interested in bidding for this contract are being prequalified.
- The concession to operate the port.
The Iraqi government is pressing ahead rapidly with the Grand Fao Port project as a way of dealing with chronic congestion in Iraq’s Gulf ports. The Grand Fao Port is being developed at the entrance to the Shatt al-Arab waterway, and opposite Boubiyan Port in Kuwait. Boubiyan Port’s first phase is being completed. Its ultimate capacity will be 3.5 mollion TEUs.