Oct 29 2013
Azzaman, October 29, 2013
A consortium of Korean firms has agreed to build 100,000 new flats in the Province of Basra to alleviate a chronic housing shortage, a statement by Basra Governor Majid al-Nasrawi said
The statement, faxed to the newspaper, added that the Korean firms were in talks with Basra Investment Authority to explore possible options to boost Korean contribution to the province’s development.
Basra is still among Iraq’s most impoverished provinces despite its massive oil wealth. Most of Iraq’s oil exports currently originate in the province.
The statement said the new housing units would eventually form a modern neighborhood with modern amenities. “It will be called the New Basra,” the statement said.
The statement said the gigantic housing project was one of the most ambitious schemes to be implement in the province in the years since 2003-U.S. invasion.
It said Governor Majid al-Nasrawi was closely pursuing the project and has ordered all provincial authorities to facilitate its implementation.
One major hurdle is that the area allocated for the new city in Basra is reported to be still dotted with mines and it has to be cleared of all explosives before the project can start in earnest.
Basra will dip into its own resources, mainly the hard cash currently it obtains for its high volume of oil output.
The province produces up to 2 million barrels a day and is entitled to $2 for each barrel it churns out.
But the governor said his province would be seeking loans from Iraqi banks and grants from the central government to finance the project, the total cost of which is not made public yet.
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