PROJECTS: Iraq to award Baghdad Metro to France's Alstom

Project to be approved by parliament

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Cars drive past the construction site of Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia December 21, 2015. Picture taken December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RTX1ZPYP

Image used for illustrative purpose. Cars drive past the construction site of Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia December 21, 2015. Picture taken December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RTX1ZPYP

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RTX1ZPYP

Iraq will soon submit the much-delayed Baghdad Elevated Metro project to parliament for approval before it is awarded to the French transport giant Alstom, the Arab country's Transport Minister was quoted on Sunday as saying.

Nasser Bandar said the Ministry would hold two meetings in the next two weeks to clear "technical problems" obstructing the project that has been on the cards for many years.

"I think we will be able to sort those problems... we will then present the project to parliament for final approval before it is awarded to Alstom," Bandar said, quoted by Aliqisad News and other Iraqi publications.

The Minister said he hopes to finalise the contract with Alstom despite the "difficult conditions through which Iraq is passing."

Iraqi officials have said the project, which involves building a 22-km rail network and 14 train stations, would cost around $2.5 billion.

In 2013, Alstom signed a $40 million agreement with Iraq for design studies for project , which is intended to ease traffic congestion in the capital.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com)

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