After years of delay, First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting
completed the design and construction of the new U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
The project, plagued by faulty construction and scandal, was certified by
the State Department and independent consultants.
"This is a remarkable accomplishment for our company and for the
thousands of individuals whose hard work has made it possible," First
Kuwaiti managing director Wadih Al Absi said. "We are proud of our record of
achievement in Iraq and regard the completion of the new U.S. embassy
compound in Baghdad as an absolute success."
The company, which hired 23 U.S. subcontractors, said the project was
completed nearly two years beyond schedule. The project was said to have
stayed within its original budget of $474 million.
Executives said prior to construction, First Kuwaiti cleared the embassy
site of buildings, hidden tunnels and bunkers, landmines and unexploded
ordnance. They said supplies of 75,000 tons of cement and 28,000 tons of
steel were hampered by military closure of the road to the embassy site. The
embassy construction site itself is at times the target of direct rocket and
"First Kuwaiti completed this project under conditions that none of us
anticipated," Al Absi said.
Kuwait, which hosts about 15,000 U.S. troops, has been given the bulk of
U.S. military in Iraq contracts to foreign firms. Executives said the
sheikdom facilitated the U.S. embassy contract by serving as a conduit for
workers and material.