The companies asked to help get rid of roughly 800 tons of Bashar Assad’s chemical arsenal, a “major part of the Syrian stockpile,” stand to make $47 million to $54 million, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the group directing the task.
[I]t remains to be seen how many companies might step forward to assist in the process. One possible candidate, URS Corp, based near Albany, New York, which has played significant roles in the destruction of American chemical stockpiles during the 1990s as well as weapons of mass destruction in post-Soviet Russia. A spokesperson declined to comment on whether it might seek all or part of the contract.
“It’s certainly unusual that they would go out for tender for private companies to destroy these substances,” Ralf Trapp, an independent consultant on chemical weapons disarmament based near Lyons, France, told The Independent. “But we are in unusual circumstances, shall we say.” He added: “We are not talking about the chemical weapons themselves, but they are essentially trying to get rid of the rest of the programme.”