Babil Stadium progressing despite Iraqi crisis
Developer determined to finish project in final quarter of 2014
Babil Stadium, in Al Hillah, Iraq, is progressing towards its completion in the last quarter of 2014 despite the current crisis enveloping the country.
Sunni militants have siezed the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, according to officials and residents.
Militants, led by ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – captured key cities including Mosul and Tikrit last week, although some towns were retaken.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Tuesday the “apparently systematic series of executions (of non-combatants) almost certainly amounted to war crimes”.
Hassan Al Khayer, chief executive officer of Triarena, who are behind the 350,000m2 project, admitted that while the company has concerns about the ongoing violence, he hoped it would not deter them from finishing the project.
He said: “Political instability is part of the Iraqi scene. Permanent insecurity floats consistently over the country. However, Iraq remains a country with resources as well as a development niche for a company such as Triarena, which is ready to take up the challenge and take the risk despite the slowness and routine of administrations.
“We are very much concerned about the recent political events in the country, but these do not affect our commitment and determination to finalise our work successfully.
“We carry on with our work and we will finish the construction. We hope to not accumulate much delay because of these black swans.”
Triarena previously won a contract to design a sports city and build a 32,200-capacity stadium, along with two training fields for 2,000 and 500 spectators, and a four-star hotel, at Al-Hillah, within 20 months.
It forms part of an 873,328m2 masterplan that includes a polo field, two multisports halls, tennis courts, Olympic swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), volleyball courts, medical and fire department buildings, an artificial lake, boating centre, green areas as well as various buildings and houses.
Al Khayer said: “The steel structure process is entirely performed in Spain along with no less than 90% of the project, which is made in Europe and according to norms of the European Union.
"All components are transformed, welded and produced by Triarena's partner and steel manufacturer Integralia.
"The components are conceived to fit into containers. On site, every piece shipped from Spain is intercepted in order to be controlled by the company's Spanish and Iraqi engineers.
"Once the quality control is performed, the components can then be assembled just as a giant puzzle."