(Reuters) - Oil exporter Libya is making up for years of stagnation by spending billions of dollars on construction projects, creating lucrative opportunities for contractors bold enough to risk Libya’s unpredictable business climate.
Following is a selection of some of the biggest projects underway in Libya outside oil and gas:
* TRANSPORT -- Russian state-owned firm Russian Railways signed a 2.2 million euro ($2.8 million) contract in April 2008 to build a high-speed railway along Libya’s Mediterranean coast between Sirte and Benghazi, a distance of about 500 km (310 miles). In the same year, China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd was awarded a contract worth $2.6 billion to build two sections of railway. Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, with a Libyan joint venture partner, is building a 24 km stretch of ring road around Tripoli.
* HOTELS -- Marriott International Inc will manage a 370-room hotel in Tripoli scheduled to open next year. The hotel will be in a 36-storey tower which already dominates the city’s skyline, being built by South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction in partnership with a Libyan state investment fund. Also, Intercontinental Hotels Group is planning this year to open a 351-room hotel in Tripoli in partnership with a firm called Magna Holdings Limited.
* SHOPPING MALLS -- Istanbul-based firm Turkmall signed an agreement with Libya’s state-run Economic and Social Development Fund to build three shopping and entertainment centers: two in Tripoli and one in Benghazi. Turkish-run Renaissance Construction has been awarded a contract by the Libyan Investment and Development Corporation to build an office, residential and retail complex on a huge site on the road between Tripoli and the international airport. Another Turkish company, Summa, says it is building a mall in Benghazi.
* AIRPORT -- Tripoli’s down-at-heel international airport is being replaced with two brand-new terminals, due for completion in March 2011 and will have capacity for 20 million passengers per year. The contract for the project was awarded to a consortium of Turkey’s TAV Construction, Odebrecht and Athens-based firm Consolidated Contractors Co.
* CONFERENCE HALL -- Italian construction firm Impregilo
has won a 285 million euro contract to build a conference center on the outskirts of Tripoli. Designed by London-based architect Zaha Hadid, it is scheduled for completion in 2013, according to the Italian company.
* UTILITIES -- Austrian builder Strabag was awarded a 434 million euro contract to modernize water and sewage systems, telephone and electricity lines in Tajura, near Tripoli. Impregilo, in partnership with a Libyan investment vehicle, has been contracted to carry out similar work in Tripoli and Misurata.
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