The Iraqi National Investment Commission has awarded Hanwha Engineering and Construction a $7.25 billion deal to build a new town at Besmaya, 25 kilometers east of Baghdad. The company intends to begin construction on the 1,830 hectare site later this year and anticipates the project to take at least 7 years to complete.
Hanwha, a Korean construction company, will be in charge of engineering, procurement and construction of the town. The town will contain 100,000 housing units and the infrastructure to support 600,000 residents.
“Based on our experience in Korea, we will facilitate various infrastructure first at the new town where up to 100,000 houses will be built for Iraqi residents,” a Hanwha spokesman said.
Two million Iraqis were displaced during sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007. Approximately 600,000 of were driven out from Baghdad alone. High poverty rates, lack of consistent electricity, and lack of housing are the primary issues driving Iraqi protestors today. This deal comes 2 weeks before the expiration of a 100 day deadline Maliki issued to his ministers to address their constituents concerns.
During the signing of the deal, Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki announced this deal as the beginning of his goal to build 1 million housing units in Iraq and perform major projects in other fields.