Iraq will offer contracts for the construction of eight cargo ships over the next four years in an effort to expand its fleet, the director general of the state naval transport company said.
The government expects in the next two weeks to take delivery of a $14 million cargo vessel built by Avic Dingheng Shipbuilding Co. of China, Sameer Abdul Razzaq said in a telephone interview today in Baghdad. The ship, named the “Baghdad,” will have a loading capacity of 7,800 metric tons, he said.
Iraq signed a $73 million contract in December with South Korea’s Daesun Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. for three vessels due for delivery in 26 months, he said.
The Iraqi government owns a single serviceable cargo ship, Razzaq said. The country’s other ships either sank or fell into disrepair after taking refuge outside Iraq during the 1990 Gulf War, he said. Iraq holds the world’s fifth-largest crude deposits and is seeking to rebuild its economy and infrastructure after decades of conflict and sanctions.
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