By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 31 July 2014:
In a surprising piece of good news, in view of the fact that most companies and . . .[restrict]foreign nationals are seeking to leave Libya during the rise of insecurity in Tripoli and Benghazi, Turkish company Gama has returned to work in Sirte.
In a statement released by the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) yesterday, it was revealed that the manager of Gama had, together with no less 350 employees, returned to the project site in Sirte over the last few days.
The 1,400 MW steam Khaleej (Gulf) Power Station has four different foreign companies operating on it, Abubaker Makhyoun, Project Site Manager, told LANA, including US company Bechtel, and Korean companies Hyundai and Dosen.
Makhyoun said that Gama is contracted to perform civil engineering, concrete as well as communications work on the project and that work on the project was now proceeding “normally”.
It will be recalled, however, that the Gulf power station has had its troubles when most recently it got indirectly embroiled in the Dignity operation in Benghazi, forcing all its foreign employees to be hastily evacuated from Libya.
What is surprising about this announcement is its timing in view of the decreased security caused by fighting in Tripoli and Benghazi, and the political instability currently in Libya as a result of the handover period between the outgoing legislature, the General National Congress, and the newly elected House of Representatives.
It is not clear whether the city of Sirte specifically or the Libyan government have provided specific security arrangements to secure the 350 plus foreign employees. Sirte does have the advantage of having its own airport. However, whilst the city has been relatively calm lately, it too has had its own security challenges.
Some foreign contractors will be looking to see if the Gama company’s situation can be replicated elsewhere for other companies and other projects, or does the city of Sirte provide unique conditions? [/restrict]