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Parsons Wins $500-Million Iraq Construction Deal

The Pentagon contract to build and renovate public buildings further increases the Pasadena company's presence in the country.

March 26, 2004|From Reuters

Parsons Corp. of Pasadena won a $500-million U.S. military contract Thursday to renovate buildings in Iraq.

The Pentagon said the latest deal was to provide design and building services and to renovate existing public buildings, hospitals, medical clinics and housing throughout Iraq.

Privately owned Parsons is one of the most active U.S. companies in Iraq.

"Parsons is delighted to continue working with the U.S. government to assist the people of Iraq. Because we are currently working in Iraq, we anticipate that we will be able to mobilize our team quickly," said Charles Harrington, president of Parsons Communications Group Inc., the business unit that will be working on the contract.

The team, which includes subcontractors, will also work closely with Iraqi firms, he said.

Parsons is in a joint venture with Worley Group Ltd. of Australia performing up to $800 million worth of work to restore northern Iraq's oil infrastructure.

The company is also involved in a $1.8-billion infrastructure deal awarded in January by the U.S. Agency for International Development to San Francisco-based engineering company Bechtel Group Inc.

Other lucrative Iraq business includes a $1.5-billion contract Parsons obtained with the U.S. military for construction and engineering work.

The latest contract is funded by $18.6 billion appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction of Iraq and is part of a round of heavy-construction deals announced in recent weeks.

This week Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. and British firm Amec were awarded contracts worth up to $1.1 billion for water and sewer projects.

Only one prime construction deal is still to be announced in this round, and that involves security and justice work worth up to $900 million. Officials expect that deal to be awarded in the coming days.

Bidding for the heavy-duty construction work was restricted to companies from nations that supported the U.S.-led effort to overthrow former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Future contracts are likely to be open to Canada, and officials have said they expect the Bush administration to open bidding to some nations that did not support the war effort, but they stress that a final decision has not been made.

Other prime construction contracts have gone to Washington International Inc., the power unit of Boise, Idaho-based engineering and construction company Washington Group International as well as construction services company Perini Corp. of Framingham, Mass.

The company with the most business in Iraq is Halliburton Co., the Houston-based oil services firm once led by Vice President Dick Cheney.

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