Companies have six months to finalise bids for $3bn project to construction two metro lines

Seven international companies have been chosen to bid for the contract to build the Baghdad metro. They will submit their bids for the $3bn project in January 2010.

Seventeen foreign firms had expressed interest in handling the project for the Iraqi Ministry of Transportation, Baghdad’s Mayor Sabir al-Issawi has told

Streets of Baghdad
The $3bn metro should relieve pressure on Baghdad's grid-locked roads.

The project will be the first of its kind in Iraq and will include the construction of two lines, each stretching roughly 20 kilometres with 20 stops.

“Seven companies have now been selected to proceed to the bidding stage, based on their extensive experience in the field,” al-Issawi said.

The companies have been given six months to finalise their bids, after which “a technical committee will be set up to select the best bids,” the mayor said.

Earlier this month Building reported that growing numbers of British construction professionals were applying for jobs in Iraq. Recruitment agency Zoiren International said roles such as site managers and project directors were regularly receiving over 3,000 applicants, more than double the number this time last year.

In April this year the business secretary Peter Mandelson led a trade mission to Iraq comprising UK construction companies. The 23 companies included Amec, Benoy, Carillion, Fosters, Foster Wheeler Energy Halcrow, Hyder Consulting, Kier, Scot Wilson, Mott McDonald.

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