Negotiations are still under way for the marine works contract at Iraq’s Grand Faw Port scheme.

A spokesperson with Iraq’s Transport Ministry told MEED in May that they expect to make a major progress on the negotiations within a month.

However, it appears that the target date has passed without making any major development towards the contract award.

The scope of the contract includes dredging work as well as the construction of container terminals and other buildings.

It is understood that China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corporation (CPECC) is one of the contractors that are actively engaged in the negotiations.

It is not clear if other firms have dropped out of the negotiation.

A source familiar with the scheme said they do not expect an award soon since the negotiations include funding and an agreement between the Iraqi government and the government of the country where interested contractors or investors originate.

The port development is estimated to cost up to $8bn.

It is understood that the eastern breakwater of the port, awarded to the Netherlands’ Archirodon, has been completed. Work on the western breakwater, awarded to South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering & Construction in 2013, is also nearing completion.

Both contracts were funded by the Iraqi government.

The next phase of the project, however, will require private sector participation in terms of funding.

Ultimate expectations for the much-delayed scheme are to have 12 berths and to handle 99 million tonnes of cargo a year when complete.