PARIS, Dec 17 (AFP) – The European steel group Arcelor hopes to obtain Iraqi reconstruction contracts through its Spanish subsidiary Aceralia, group chairman Guy Dolle told the French news television LCI Wednesday.
Rebuilding Iraq is a “delicate opportunity” for Arcelor, formed in 2002 through a merger of the French company Usinor, Aceralia, and Arbed of Luxembourg, Dolle said.
“We are a European company with subsidiaries in countries that were allied with the Americans in this war,” he added in reference to the US-led invasion of Iraq that was backed by Madrid but opposed by Paris.
“We have already taken a certain number of precautions to be able to be present in time in the reconstruction of Iraq, in particular through Spain,” the Arcelor chief added.
Companies in Canada, France, Germany and Russia were excluded by US officials from bidding for major contracts in Iraq because of their countries’ opposition to the US-led action.
Spain not only backed the US position but also contributed troops and has suffered casualties in Iraq.
“When you rebuild a country, a lot of steel is consumed,” Dolle said, adding that Arcelor hoped to provided steel beams and material for tubes needed to patch up the oil-rich country’s crumbling pipeline network.
Subject: France news