Hyundai & Kharafi seal Boubyan port project deal
Kuwait: Kuwait signed a $1.1 billion deal with South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co and local firm Kharafi Group to design and build a port near the Iraqi border. The commercial port on Boubyan Island is expected to be operating with an initial four berths in 2015, the ministry of public works and municipal affairs said in a statement yesterday.
The facility is part of a plan to develop the island into a commercial seaport in a bid to position the state as a main gateway for Iraq’s reconstruction and to regain its 1970s status as a regional hub.
The contract with the South Korean and the Kuwaiti companies includes dredging works, designing 16 berths and building four of them, the statement said. The project is being offered to contractors in phases, and is envisaged to eventually have 60 berths, it added. Boubyan Island measures 850 sq km in low tide and 400 sq km in high tide. Parts of it will be a natural reserve, and there are plans for building tourist attractions on it, according to the ministry. OPEC-member Kuwait, which is looking to diversify its oil-dominated economy, has three oil ports and three commercial ports.
In the presence of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, he contract was signed by Minister of Public Works and Minister of Municipal Affairs Fadhel Safar and several officials of Hyundai and Al Kharafi. Addressing the signing ceremony, the premier said he was happy to see more development projects put up for execution, vowing that Kuwait would regain its position as a “Gulf pearl”. He hailed the Boubyan port as a giant project that is part of the country’s national development drive.
However, he called on all state agencies involved to exert more effort to push forward development projects in Kuwait under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al-Sabah said the launch of the second part of the Boubyan port project is conducive to Kuwait’s blueprint for communication and border points, which are a key element for an ambitious plan to transform Kuwait into a regional financial and trade hub. The port project comes within the framework of planned major projects for the 2010-2011 development drive in the country, he added. Boubyan port will be a springboard for the planned Silk City, the minister said.
Safar said local companies would join giant world businesses in the implementation of his ministry’s projects as part of the country’s development drive. The project provides for setting up four out of the 60 berths for container ships, a railway for imports and exports from and to north Kuwait and other areas, together with several other facilities, he said. The second part of the first stage of the harbor project would cost around KD 328 million and take 1,260 days to complete, he noted. – Agencies