By Tom Westcott.
London, 21 November:
Austrian design engineers Intergeo declined to comment on reports in a Salzburg paper that they had been forced into bankruptcy because of unpaid work they did on the suspended Sirte-Benghazi rail link.
The Salzburg Times reported today that civil engineering firm Intergeo had been forced into liquidation after over €1 million worth of Qaddafi-era work and fees went unpaid. Intergeo had been working on plans for the Sirte-Benghazi railway before the revolution, when all work was suspended.
The personal assistant to Dr Peter Muller, the CEO of Intergeo, told Libya Herald that the Austrian Times had not got their information directly from Intergeo and said she was unable to answer any questions. When asked about the company’s involvement with the Libyan railway project, she said: “I cannot give information about this and I’m afraid Mr Muller wouldn’t be able to give you any information. We won’t give any comment.”
Intergeo was one of five Austrian engineering companies working in the consortium Austrian Rail Engineering (ARE) which was awarded a detailed design contract for the Sirte-Benghazi railway. Another Austrian engineering company, FCP, which specialises in bridges was given responsibility for civil engineering structures such as road and railway bridges and railway and drainage culverts. The three-year project was due for completion in 2013, but all work was suspended in February 2011.
In 2008, Intergeo was employed by the Ministry of Infrastructure to work on a waste management plan to European standards for four districts in eastern Libya. According to their website: “The project encompassed a detailed data-gathering of the existing waste collection logistics including collection fleet, collection system, separation logistics, waste composition, treatment plants, composting plants as well as old and new landfills.” It is not clear what stage this project reached.