Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 2
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Iran's Khatam-ol-Anbia has been withdrawn from the construction operation of Tehran-Shomal (northern provinces) freeway, Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister Ahmad Majidi, Fars news agency reported on Dec. 2.
"The Bonyad (Mostazafan Fourndation) also will not take part in the construction operation of the second and third sections of the highway, except for Alborz tunnel in the second section," the Tasnim News Agency quoted Majidi as saying.
He went on to note that the sections two and three of the project will come on stream at the estimated cost of 80 trillion rials (some $2.66 billion based on the price of USD at the free market).
"The ministry will soon choose a contractor for the 71-kilometer long project in a fair bid," he said.
Bonyad (Mostazafan Fourndation) representative, Rahmatollah Sadeqian, said back in May that the Roads and Urban Development ministry has not fulfilled its financial commitments regarding the project, the Mehr News Agency reported.
He went on to note that ministry owes over 6.8 trillion rials (some $226.6 million) to the Bonyad, he said, noting that according to the Majlis (parliament) Research Center, the ministry owes over 63 trillion rials (approximately $2.1 billion) to all the contractors.
Bonyad has been in charge of carrying out the section 2 and 3 of the project, but in April the Roads and Urban Development ministry announced that it has chosen a new contractor for the mentioned sections.
Former Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Ahmad Sadeqi, announced on April 13 that with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's order, Iran's Khatam-ol-Anbia headquarters will construct sections two and three of Tehran-Shomal freeway.
China's SPA Company is also in charge of construction of the first section of the freeway. The first section is projected to come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2014). The construction plan of Tehran-Shomal freeway was started in 1997.
Khatam-ol Anbia Construction Headquarters is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Khatam-ol-Anbia is a giant company firm with 25,000 employees. It controls over 812 registered companies inside and outside Iran. Some 10 per cent 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-Anbia purchased a 51.18 per cent controlling stake in Iran's naval-industrial giant South Pars. In May 2010, the Iranian government granted Khatam-ol-Anbia with 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.