Benghazi, 16 December:
Deputy Prime Minister Awad Barasi laid the first stone of a new passenger terminal at Benghazi airport on Saturday.
The project is being undertaken along with with a similar terminal at Misrata, at a combined estimated cost of LD 60 million, signed off by the Ministry of Transport.
The company charged with carrying out the construction work is Korea’s Nemo Partners, which stepped in after a pre-revolution project to build a new passenger terminal at Benghazi stalled and has yet to be resurrected.
The project is expected to take 12-18 months to complete, and is the consequence of an acute capacity shortage at Benghazi’s small and under-resourced airport.
In spite of the multi-million dinar cost, the new terminal at Benghazi is being billed as temporary, meaning that it could be superseded should the bigger pre-existing terminal expansion project be resurrected. The Misrata terminal is also being described as temporary, and comes in the midst of contractual difficulties on other projects at the airport described as “extremely complicated”.
“The Libyan side need these new passenger terminals and want to make headway as soon as possible”, explained Kim Kyunghan, a member of the Korean embassy in Tripoli. “That’s why they are proceeding with these temporary terminals now.”
In addition to Barasi and representatives from Nemo Partners, several other guests were also present at the Benghazi ceremony, including members of Benghazi Local Council, members of the Ministry of Transport, civilian and military aircraft pilots and members of the Civil Defence Corps responsible for the ambulance and fire services.