A Chinese company won a 900 million Euro ($1.21 billion) contract to build a new international airport in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, underscoring the close links between China and sanctions-hit Sudan.
A subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company will build a runway long enough to handle giant Airbus A380s, a passenger terminal, hanger, control tower and other facilities, China's state-owned companies administrator said.
'After this project is completed, it will greatly enhance the degree of internationalization of Sudan's capital Khartoum, and also increase the impact China Communications Construction Company will have in Sudan's market,' the statement said.
The company has a Hong Kong-listed unit, and is involved in infrastructure projects around the world. In January it was given an $810 million contract to build the second phase of a new port in Sri Lanka.
Only about a dozen foreign airlines fly to Sudan because of the US embargo. Sudan also has a poor safety record, with the European Union banning all Sudanese airlines from flying to the bloc.
But Beijing has long been an ally of the government in Khartoum, providing much needed infrastructure development for the country that conceded to a January referendum outcome which will see its oil-rich south split as soon as July 9.
China relied on Sudan as its 6th largest source of oil imports in 2010, and has been keen to build a relationship with leaders in the south.