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Phase 1 construction scope of Kuwait's $86bn Silk City revealed

The China-backed construction project will see a trade zone and rail network built for Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port within its first phase

Silk City is an $86bn megaproject in Kuwait that Chinese firms are likely to invest in.
© ITP Media Group
Silk City is an $86bn megaproject in Kuwait that Chinese firms are likely to invest in.

An international airport, a rail network, and a trade zone for Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port could be built under Phase 1 of Kuwait’s $86bn (KWD26.1bn) Silk City project.

The first stage of construction, which has yet to begin, will also see a logistics area for tradable goods built within Silk City, as well as an industrial hub to support small- and medium-sized enterprises, Kuwait’s state news agency said.

Plans are also in the pipeline to develop a procurement strategy for attracting investments to, implementating, and operating Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port under a public-private partnership model.

Details of the large-scale city development came after a 35-member Chinese delegation concluded a two-day visit to Kuwait.

China and Kuwait have vowed to deepen ties on Kuwaiti megaprojects, which are set to attract up to $450bn (KWD136bn) in foreign investment. In return, Kuwait is backing China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

The high-level meeting finished on 18 February, with the Chinese delegation eager to advance the implementation and construction of Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port. Officials from Alibaba and Huawei joined the delegation, which included members from the China Communications Construction Company and China Development Bank.

Faisal Al-Medlej, who is leading the development of Silk City and Kuwait’s five-island Boubyan Island scheme, held talks with the Chinese. The visiting delegation was led by vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ning Jizhe. China is said to have expressed its “seriousness” to support its implementation, Kuwait News Agency reported.

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Construction Week - Issue 746
Jul 20, 2019