The Iraq Government said an Italian consortium will soon begin construction of what it describes as the largest shipping port in the country.

Iraqi Transport Minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail said the $4.6bn facility in Fao, near the Iranian boarder on the Arabian Gulf, will allow the transportation of goods around the world.

The 100-dock port, constructed under the government’s ‘dry canal’ project, is expected to have an annual capacity of 99 million tons.

The port, which will be fed by a new rail line linking it to the Turkish border in the north, will be able to handle the largest container vessels.

Italian engineering firm Technital will lead the consortium partnering with Iraq’s Ministry of Transportation, the government said.