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UK firms bid for £10bn Lebanon repair work

UK consultants are preparing to bid for £10bn of infrastructure reconstruction work in Lebanon, following Israeli bombardment in August.
Trade association British Expertise told NCE that around 45 consultants are interested in joining a trade mission to Lebanon in November, to discuss reconstruction. 'We've had tens of calls,' said British Expertise Middle East director Phil Dowrick, 'Some of the firms have been involved in Beirut before and others already have offices in Dubai.'Followowing an intensive bombing campaign by the Israeli army, aimed at wiping out Hezbollah terrorist strongholds in Lebanon, 80 bridges and 630 roads need rebuilding. Repairs are also needed to Beirut airport. Other work identified by the Investment Authority of Lebanon, set up to oversee construction, includes reconstruction of power stations, sewage works and communications masts.Early reconstruction work will focus on rebuilding 120,000 homes and apartments destroyed or badly damaged during the bombing raids. Lebanese firm Solidere has already been appointed to rebuild the centre of Lebanon. The cost of the reconstruction works has been set at £10bn of which around half has already been pledged. Gulf governments have pledged more than £530M, the US £122M, the UK £42M, the European Union £26M, while the World Bank has agreed to put £21M towards reconstruction. Another £1.06bn is understood to have been pledged by private donors in the Gulf region.damian.arnold@emap.com

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