Rouhani’s admin. backs deal with Hyundai
The administration of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has come out in support of a landmark agreement with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries for construction of 10 mega-size containers and tankers following criticisms at home that the agreement should have been awarded to local builders.
Es’haq Jahangiri, the country’s first vice president, said on Monday that the contract with Hyundai Heavy was nothing new and was the renewal of an earlier contract that had originally been signed in 2008.
Jahangiri said Iran had paid the South Korean company as much as 25 percent of the value of the contract but further payments had been suspended due to the sanctions imposed on Iran.
“Further payments were not made due to the sanctions and they [Hyundai Heavy] filed a complaint against Iran,” he told a meeting of directors of Khatam-ul-Anbia Construction Headquarters (KACH) – the construction arm of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
“After the removal of the sanctions, some negotiations were carried out [with Hyundai Heavy] and they accepted to implement the agreement and reduced the original fee by 25 percent.”
On Friday, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) signed a contract worth above $600 million with Hyundai Heavy over building 10 Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) as well as medium-range tankers.
Iran’s local media reported that the capacity of the container vessels will be 14,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and the capacity of the tankers will be 49,000 deadweight tonnages (DWT).
KACH Commander Brigadier Ebadollah Abdollahi on Sunday criticized the deal and said the Headquarters as well as other local builders had the capability to build the ships that had been delegated to the South Korean company.
Abdollahi accordingly called on President Hassan Rouhani to abolish the deal with Hyundai Heavy and hand the project over to the KACH.