A spokesperson for Costain confirmed: "We have two senior directors in Kuwait talking to several American contractors." The directors flew out on Monday and are expected to return by Sunday.
Australian contractor Multiplex has also held talks with Bechtel and Haliburton using staff at its office in Dubai. Graeme Robson, director and commercial manager at the Dubai office, would not confirm that the talks had taken place.
He noted that reconstruction in Iraq was unlikely to take place until the end of the year at the earliest. Robson said: "Bechtel has indicated that it will give a lot of the work to Iraqi firms. But do they pay them in US dollars? You could be looking at six months to a year until the currency issue is resolved."