Rivals go in hard for US logistics contract

Two logistics companies are at loggerheads over a US$2.16 billion (Dh7.9bn) contract to supply US troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan.

Two logistics companies are at loggerheads over a US$2.16 billion (Dh7.9bn) contract to supply US troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan. ANHAM, the Dubai-based contractor, last weekend said it had won approval from the US government accountability office (GAO) for the contract. A GAO investigation evaluated a protest made in April from Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport (KGL), which claimed ANHAM did not meet the minimum bidding requirements.

But yesterday, KGL said the lucrative contract was still up for grabs and the US government would accept "amended bids". KGL said it had received an e-mail stating the US defence logistics agency would "reopen limited talks ? and receive amended bids" before making new decisions about the contract. The US military awarded ANHAM the contract this year after terminating a contract with the Kuwaiti company Agility amid fraud charges.

"ANHAM continues without interruption its mobilisation and transition efforts pursuant to its contract," the company said. The ANHAM contract is for providing "full-line food and non-food distribution in support of department of defence customers in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan". The deal is worth $2.16bn over 18 months. It has a maximum value of $6.47bn because of options to renew the contract for up to six years.

ANHAM has won more than $860 million worth of deals in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing services such as infrastructure, maintenance, information and communications technologies, life support, logistics and education. One of its biggest deals to date has been with the Iraq Joint Forces and the Iraqi ministry of defence to establish a national logistics depot in Taji in a deal worth $350m. As part of the work, ANHAM set up a vocational institute where it will train more than 700 Iraqi army personnel.

ANHAM was created in 2004 by Arab Supply and Trading of Saudi Arabia, HII Finance of the US and Munir Sukhtian Group of Jordan. Although based in Dubai, the company has extensive ties with the US. Its chief executive is Abu Huda Farouki, who is also behind Nour USA, which was awarded a $327m contract in 2004 to supply equipment to US troops in Iraq. Kuwait has become a major logistics base for the US military since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Agility is in talks with US authorities over accusations that it defrauded the military in the Middle East on multibillion-dollar supply contracts spanning 41 months. * with agencies @Email:igale@thenational.ae