By Sami Zaptia.
London, 7 November 2019:
Following on from the restart of operations at Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Manufacturing Company’s polyethylene factory on 8 October after a seven-year production halt, the company announced on Tuesday the start of its plastic sheeting factory.
Benghazi Chamber of Commerce described the reopening of the plastic sheet factory as ‘‘a rare positive boost to a war-ravaged economy and the country’s political divisions’’.
The company reported that it had made repeated, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempts to reopen the factory in 2016 and 2017.
Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Manufacturing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), operates the Polyethylene plant in Ras Lanuf, which has been closed for more than eight years due to insecurity. It reopened last month with an initial production capacity of 80,000 tons per year, which is expected to increase to 160,000 tons.
The port of Ras Lanuf had also been closed for years and the surrounding area has been repeatedly besieged in battles between rival Libyan groups and ISIS attacks, destroying some of the oil storage tanks there.
The company reported yesterday that preparations for the reopening took more than a year and that it was carried out by Libyan engineers. It reiterated that most of the foreign companies that the factory deals with could not send their foreign personnel to Libya.