Hassib Sabbagh, co-founder and chairman of Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Group (CCG), one of the largest Middle East building contractors whose past projects include Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, died on Jan. 12 in Cleveland. He was 90.
From a small firm founded in 1945 in Haifa, Israel, that built housing for Jewish veterans of the British army in Palestine, CCG became the 44th largest firm on ENR’s list of The Top 225 Global Contractors, with $5.46 billion in 2008 international revenue. More than two-thirds of that is in industrial and petrochemical markets.
The firm relocated to Beirut in 1948 but moved again to Athens in 1975 when civil war broke out in Lebanon. CCG was involved in building oil pipelines in Iraq and Syria and in constructing a major refinery in Aden. It set up a construction unit in 1973 to serve oil and gas industries in all Persian Gulf nations, according to this Website.
CCG says the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait cost it $30 million in projects in Saudi Arabia “in the space of a few months.” But one Middle East business magazine lists Sabbagh as one of the Arab world’s 50 most powerful people and ranks him 19th on its 2009 list of richest Arabs, with a net worth of $4.3 billion.