Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.15
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran's National Gas Company does not intend to dismiss Khatam-ol Anbiya Construction Headquarters, which is affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran Guard Corps (IRGC), from projects, the Pana News Agency quoted NIGC managing director Hamidreza Araqi as saying on March 15.
It is probable to choose another contractor for building the sixth and the seventh cross country gas pipelines, Araqi added.
Khatam-ol Anbiya is a good contractor of NIGC and we do not intend to dismiss it from our projects, Araqi stressed.
On February 25, the Mehr News Agency reported that the National Iranian Gas Company annulled a contract signed with the Khatam-ol Anbiya.
In May 2010, Khatam-ol Anbiya signed a deal with NIGC to build a gas pipeline stretching 600 kilometres in north-eastern Iran under a $1.3 billion contract.
Araqi told Mehr that the contract was cancelled due to Khatam-ol Anbiya's delay in implementing the project.
Tenders will soon be held to identify new contractors for the project, Araqi added.
Khatam-ol-Anbiya is a giant company with around 25,000 employees. It controls over 812 registered companies inside and outside Iran. Some 10 percent of the company's employees are IRGC members and the rest are contractors. The company is connected to Iran's oil and gas industry.
On April 25, 2009, a consortium controlled by Khatam-ol-Anbiya purchased a 51.18 percent controlling stake in Iran's naval industrial giant South Pars.
In May 2010, then Iranian government granted Khatam-ol-Anbiya the rights to develop phases 13, 14, 22, 23 and 24 of South Pars. On April 30, 2011, Iran's Oil Ministry granted two no-tender contracts to the company for the development of the Halgan and Sefid Baghoon gas fields in South Pars.