By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 4 September 2017:
Deputy Presidency Council leader has flown to South Korea to try and persuade the government in Seoul to lift the ban on South Koreans travelling to Libya so that south Korean companies can restart work on three power station projects.
Officially invited to Seoul for the 2017 Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference which started today, Maetig called on the country’s Land, Infrastructure & Transport Minister Ms. Kim Hyun-mee, to lift the restrictions so that a number of projects could be completed. The most important, he explained, was the electricity sector. South Korea’s Hyundai, Daewoo and Doosan corporations are currently involved in the construction or expansion of three power plants in Libya – Tripoli West, Sirte Khaleej and Zueitina. Work stopped on them in 2014.
It is estimated that if the South Koreans returned and finished the projects, it would add another 3,000 MW of power to the national grid – enough to cover the current shortfall and bring an end to the present relentless power cuts.
Maetig’s visit to Seoul follows fact-finding visits to the three power station sites by representatives from the three South Korean engineering firms government as well as visits to Tripoli by South Korean ambassador Kim Young-chae.
At the end of last month, a South Korean official told the Libya Herald that, following their visits, the companies were “eager to return” but could do nothing until Seoul reversed its ban, at least for businessmen and workers at the three plants. They would, though, be submitting a report to the South Korean government on the security situation in the hope that it would change its mind. This, though, could take some time, this newspaper was informed, because any decision had to be approved by an inter-ministerial group that included the construction and transport ministries, the police, intelligence and others. It was not known when the group would meet but the companies hoped it would be in September.
Although it is Maetig who has gone to Seoul to try and persuade it to reverse the ban, the authorities in eastern Libya also understand the need to get the projects finished as soon as possible and have been cooperating in the bid to persuade Seoul to change is mind. When the company representatives flew from Sirte to Zueitina at the end of last month to inspect the site there, security forces provided protection for them.