The government of Iraq has awarded a $2.625bn contract to South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction to build the first phase of a major and long-planned new port capable of berthing the world’s biggest container ships.
Signed on 30 December (reports Reuters), the deal sees Daewoo building five births and dredging a navigable channel at Al-Faw, which lies at the tip of Iraq’s narrow coastline at the top of the Persian Gulf.
In its first phase, the Faw port will be able to receive three million containers a year, allowing Iraq to handle commodities in large volumes for the first time.
The country’s other port to the northwest of Al-Faw at Umm Qasr is too shallow for that and functions largely as an oil terminal.
Daewoo will also build a tunnel, container terminal and roads to the nearby city of Basra, the company said in a statement reported by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.Â
The company noted that it had signed an earlier contract to build the port in 2013.
In October 2020, Iraqi police launched an investigation into the death of a senior Daewoo director who was found hanging in the company’s compound in Basra.
Authorities initially ruled the death of Park Chul-Ho a case of suicide, but a lawyer for Daewoo and the deputy speaker of Iraq’s parliament raised suspicions and called for an inquiry.
Image Â©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier