Chinese companies are to build a “Science City” in northern Iraq as part of an oil-for-projects deal, official news agency Alsabah has reported.
Ukail Al-Araji, president of Hamdaniya University, told the agency that work has already begun to prepare a 21.5ha site for the project, which he described as the largest of its kind in Iraq.
If the scheme follows the model of the New University and Science City in Kuwait, it will combine a campus extension with commercial and residential development. Al-Araji said the first phase of the project would include shopping malls, swimming pools and parks.
The University of Al Hamdaniya was founded in 2014 is located in the town of Al-Hamdaniya (also known as Bakhdida and Qaraqosh) about 30km southeast of Mosul in the Northern Nineveh Governorate. It is a relatively small public college, with fewer than 3,000 students.
The report did not give a cost for the scheme or say which Chinese companies were involved in it.
The oil-for-projects deal between Iraq and China was agreed in September 2019, but no projects were specified at the time.
Last year, GCR reported that progress had been delayed by legal issues with the agreement, but that these had been overcome. The first wave of construction involved an airport in Nasiriyah, central Iraq, nearly 90,000 houses in the Baghdad district of Sadr City, 1,000 healthcare facilities and improvements to Baghdad’s sewerage (see further reading).