November 14, 2012 / 1:21 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Kuwait signs contract with Hyundai for $2.6 bln bridge

(Adds detail, context)

KUWAIT, Nov 14 (Reuters) - A Kuwaiti company has signed a contract with South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. to design, build and maintain a major bridge in the Gulf state, a stock exchange filing said on Wednesday.

Kuwait’s Combined Group Contracting Co. will own a 21.5 percent stake in the Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah project, it said.

The statement did not give the value of the contract, but state news agency KUNA reported earlier that the bridge project as a whole was worth 738 million dinars ($2.6 billion) and would take five years to complete.

The bridge will be built over Kuwait Bay and connect Shuwaikh port with Subiyah, an area in the northern oil-producing part of the OPEC state. It will help reduce congestion around the port, KUNA said.

The contract signing suggests Kuwait is trying to press ahead with infrastructure plans despite serious political tensions. Conflict between the cabinet and parliament has delayed or blocked billions of dollars worth of projects in recent years, and the approach of snap elections on Dec. 1 has increased political uncertainty. (Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Andrew Torchia)

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