China to build airport, housing and healthcare facilities for Iraqi oil

China will build an airport in Nasiriyah, central Iraq, and nearly 90,000 houses in the Baghdad district of Sadr City in return for oil, a government official said yesterday. It will also construct 1,000 healthcare facilities and improve Baghdad’s sewerage.

The exchange of oil for projects was agreed between Iraq in China in September 2019, but no projects had been settled on until now.

Sabah Abdul Lateef, an adviser to Iraqi prime minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, said the two sides had resolved differences that had held up the scheme, and China would undertake the projects for 100,000 barrels of Iraqi crude, reports the Zawya news organisation. 

"These projects will be carried out in line with the Iraq-China agreement after all legal issues that have faced the agreement have been resolved," Abdul Lateef said.

No cash value was given for the airport when it was announced in June, however it will be a relatively small facility, with an annual passenger capacity of 750,000. The Sadr city plan, which was announced in April, is a megaproject with a value of around $7bn.

No contractors have been named in association with the schemes.

Image: Sadr City, formerly known as Al-Thawra and Saddam City (US Army/Public domain)

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