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Wed 24 Aug 2011 05:24 PM

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Kuwait in plan to build $6.2bn of highways

Kuwait plans infrastructure revamp in plan to become financial, trade hub

Kuwait in plan to build $6.2bn of highways
Kuwait in February 2010 approved a KD30.8bn, four-year development plan that aims to lure international investors

Kuwait
plans to build highways costing about KD1.7bn ($6.2bn) over the next three and
a half years as it seeks to become a commercial and financial hub in the
region.

“Ministry
of Public Works is currently designing highways that will be tendered in the
coming three and a half years, one after the other, for a cost of KD1.7bn and a
total length of 550km,” Minister of Public Works Fadhel Safar said in a
telephone interview Wednesday in Kuwait City.

Parliament
in February 2010 approved a KD30.8bn, four-year development plan that aims to
lure international investors and includes projects to increase oil and gas
production and construction of a railway network, cities and a port on Boubyan
Island.

In
October last year, the state’s Central Tenders Committee said a group led by
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. made the lowest bid to design,
build, operate and maintain a bridge for KD738.8m ($2.6bn).

Jaber
Al-Ahmad bridge, one of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects, will
link the mainland to Subbiya in the north. The contract then got “dragged into
political conflicts” vice chairman Raad al-Abdullah of Combined Group
Contracting Co, which has a stake 20 percent stake in the bid, said on June 9.

The
economy of Kuwait, which holds the world’s fifth- largest oil reserves, suffers
from a “number of structural imbalances” that require the “correction” of the
state’s budget position and measures to promote the private sector’s
contribution to growth, the state’s ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber
Al-Sabah said on August 15, according to state run news agency KUNA.

Kuwait
was the fourth-biggest producer, along with the UAE, in the Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries in July. The country produced 2.52 million barrels
of oil a day on average.

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