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South Korea’s Hanwah Engineering to Sign $7 Billion Iraq Project

Iraq will soon sign a $7 billion agreement with South Korea’s Hanwah Engineering & Construction Corp. to build 100,000 housing units in the country, the chairman of Iraq’s National Investment Commission said.

“The signing will be final and the work will start after that, the value of the deal is more than $7 billion,” said Sami al-Araji in a telephone interview in Baghdad yesterday.

The commission is also due to sign a contract with Bloom Properties, a United Arab Emirates-based real estate developer, to build 40,000 houses in Iraq’s southern province of Karbala. He didn’t disclose the value of the contract.

Iraq is currently in talks with international companies to build infrastructure projects valued at a total of about $100 billion, Abdulla Al-Bander, an adviser to the investment commission, said by phone yesterday. The commission has already awarded infrastructure projects valued at a total $32 billion since 2008, he said.

Iraq, which holds the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves, is seeking foreign investment to help rebuild an economy and infrastructure damaged by years of conflict, sanctions and underinvestment. In March 2010, the government approved plans to build 1 million apartments by 2014 for lower- and middle-income families to help a housing shortage.

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