China State to begin work on Iraq’s Nasiriyah International Airport

China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) is set to begin work on a $370m project to construct Nasiriyah International Airport in central Iraq, a contract that it won in September 2019 and finalised in June 2021.

The airport is being funded by China as part of its oil-for-infrastructure deal with Iraq. As well as the airport, plans are in hand to construct around 90,000 houses in the Baghdad district of Sadr, 1,000 healthcare facilities and an upgrade of Baghdad’s sewerage system (see further reading).

The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority aims to redevelop the 30-sq-km Tallil military airport outside Nasiriyah city in the Dhi Qar Governorate. When fully built, it will have two runways and a passenger throughput of around 750,000, making it a boutique airport by international standards.

According to the Zawya website, Mohammed Al-Ghazi, the governor of Dhi Qar, said work would start soon to clear the site of unexploded munitions. He added that an agreement was reached with CSCEC on Wednesday on a 36-month construction schedule.

As well as the airport, the project will include the construction of a 5,000-sq-m cargo building and a 25km motorway to the centre of Nasiriyah.

The project was discussed by the Iraqi Cabinet in March. At the time, Al-Ghazi commented that the project would be “a shift in the reality of the economy and development of the governorate, as it will provide jobs and the revitalisation of tourism and trade”.

CSCEC, presently the world’s largest contractor, will build the airport under an engineer, procure and construct contract. Turkish consultant Kiklop is providing design and project management services to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.

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