By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 6 December 2013:
American Fortune 500 company AECOM has signed a $209-million contract with the Ministry of Housing . . .[restrict]to resume work on pre-revolution housing and infrastructure projects.
“The initial $209-million contract is for 25 months, which is the remaining term of the original contract suspended during the revolution,” AECOM’s chief executive of global programmes James Thompson, told the Libya Herald. The total value of the project, which AECOM was managing, was over $36 billion, he said.
“It is expected to exceed $100 billion in construction value,” Thompson said, adding that this would make the US-Libyan deal one of the biggest construction contracts in the world.
AECOM is the main general manager and implementer of a nationwide programme for the Housing and Infrastructure Board (HIB). The programme includes many hundreds of projects to develop Libya’s infrastructure and support the country’s housing needs. It is looking to mobilise restart efforts in January and February next year, Thompson said, after all contract-related formalities had been completed.
“This comes as a sign of the good relationships we are seeking with other countries and, on this occasion, especially the US, which supported our revolution,” Minister of Housing Ali Sharif said, speaking at yesterday’s contract-signing ceremony. He added that he hoped that AECOM’s return to Libya would encourage other international companies to also restart work in Libya.
This was echoed by US Ambassador to Libya Deborah Jones who said: “This important project signals increased economic cooperation between our two countries, as Libya works diligently to rebuild a country that suffered decades of a brutal dictatorship.”
She said America was committed to supporting Libya in its efforts to reform its economy. “Infrastructure investment directly affects a country’s economic growth potential and contributes directly to an environment that attracts business investment and supports local firms and entrepreneurs,” said Jones.
Amongst the first AECOM operations to be restarted will be two housing projects, one in Tajoura and a second in the east of Libya, AECOM’s deputy project director in Libya, Tarek Ben Gimer, told this newspaper. In Tajoura, it will also be responsible for the complete infrastructure, including roads, sewage, water supplies and electricity, he said.
Yesterday’s contract signing was the result of many meetings since liberation, HIB Chairman Mahmud Ajaj said. “Through this contract we aspire to implement projects, and I hope it will motivate and stimulate development in Libya.” [/restrict]