Bechtel quits Iraq

25 April 2008

US-based Bechtel has announced it is to quit Iraq following the completion of its last contract in the country. The company cites the deteriorating security situation as the main reason for leaving the country.

Since starting work in Iraq in 2003, 52 Bechtel employees have been killed and 49 wounded. Most were killed while off duty. Hired by the US government, Bechtel’s services have cost US$ 2.3 billion to date.

Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper Cliff Mumm, Bechtel’s president for infrastructure work, said it would not seek any more work in the country once its final contract expired.

Mr Mumm said Bechtel had completed all but two of nearly 100 projects in Iraq. Bechtel employed more than 40000 workers, mostly Iraqis, at the height of its activity in the country.

The work involved rebuilding roads and bridges damaged during the conflict, and expanding the country’s water and power grids alongside building new hospitals and police stations.

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