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Cablegate: Libya Commercial Round-Up for July 2008

R 040958Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3757
INFO DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
AMEMBASSY RABAT
AMEMBASSY ALGIERS
AMEMBASSY TUNIS
AMEMBASSY CAIRO
AMEMBASSY VALLETTA
AMEMBASSY ROME
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI

UNCLAS TRIPOLI 000632


DEPT FOR NEA/MAG; COMMERCE FOR NATE MASON
ENERGY FOR GINA ERICKSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EIND EINV EMIN ENRG EPET ETRD LY
SUBJECT: LIBYA COMMERCIAL ROUND-UP FOR JULY 2008

AVIATION

1. Flight Safety Foundation Workshop in Libya: The Flight Safety
Foundation's CAAG (Controlled Flight Into Terrain and Approach
and Landing Accident Reduction Action Group) brought its
internationally regarded Approach and Landing Accident Reduction
(ALAR) Tool Kit workshop to Tripoli, Libya last week. Libyan
aviation professionals said that this was the first time a
non-governmental international aviation safety event has been
held in Libya. The workshop was hosted by Afriqiyah Airways of
Libya and organized by Capt. Samir Abussada, a Libyan commercial
pilot. More than 50 aviation professionals from Chad, Egypt,
Libya and Tunisia attended the workshop. They represented civil
aviation authorities, air traffic management organizations and
several airlines in the region. [Flight Safety Foundation,
7/21/08]

CONSTRUCTION

2. Seokwang Gets Contract: South Korean builder Seokwang
Construction Co Ltd has announced that it has won a 493 billion
won ($475.5 million) order to build houses in Libya. Seokwang
said in a filing to the Korea Exchange that it had secured the
deal from SMI-Hyundai Corporation Ltd., which has a
well-established presence in Libya. [Reuters, 7/3/08]

3. Impregilo finalizes Libya contract to build university
centers: Impregilo SpA said it has finalized contracts to build
three university centers in Libya after the Libyan government
approved construction plans. Impregilo said that the 'initial'
authorization covered three buildings for a total of
approximately 400 million euros. Impregilo said work will start
on the three centers in the next few months and is expected to
be completed by 2011. The contracts were signed by Impregilo
Lidco, which is 60 percent owned by Impregilo and 40 percent by
Libyan Development Company and the ODAC (Organization for
Development of the Administrative Centers). [Thomson Financial,
7/7/08]

4. Spain's Sacyr Signs Libya Deal: Spanish construction firm
Sacyr Vallehermoso has announced that it has signed three
building deals in Libya worth 600 million euros through its
subsidiary Svlidco. The contracts involve the construction of
public service networks to provide gas, drinking water,
telephone services and road construction in the cities of
Bengazhi and El Beyda. Svlidco, which is 60 percent owned by
Sacyr and 40 percent owned by the Libyan government, hopes to
sign the final contracts within six to eight months, according
to a company statement. [Reuters, 7/14/08]

5. Hill International Signs Contract: U.S. firm Hill
International announced today that it has received a contract
from the Libyan Organization for the Development of
Administrative Centers (ODAC) to provide pre-construction and
design management services on behalf of the Libyan Ministry for
Higher Education in connection with 27 new university campuses
across Libya. The one-year contract has an estimated value to
Hill of approximately $11.5 million. The overall $5 billion
university construction program is expected to be completed by
December 2011. The campuses will range in size and diversity,
accommodating 2,500 to 13,500 students in various regions
throughout the country. [Businesswire, 7/15/08]

6. Movenpick to Open Resort in Libya: Movenpick Hotels &
Resorts has signed a management contract with Libya's Bank of
Commerce & Development for an urban resort hotel with over 500
units to open in Tripoli in 2010. Movenpick Hotel Diar Assalam
will be situated in the most upmarket residential district of
Tripoli as part of a multipurpose development whose planned
features include a commercial center and a yacht club. To be
located directly on the waterfront, the upscale resort will
offer 320 rooms and suites, nine villas as well as 213 serviced
apartments. Among these are several restaurants, a conference
hall accommodating 400 delegates as well as a spa complex.
[Libyainvestment.com, 7/18/08]

7. Libya to Expand Cement Production: Libya's government is
planning to expand cement production to 15 million tons by 2011
from 8 million, a government official has told Reuters. The
Tripoli government awarded licenses to four foreign companies --
out of 24 applicants -- earlier this month to set up
cement-related operations to exploit natural resources including
iron ore, lime and clay, according to Khalifa Ahmed al Badr,
head of the state-owned National Mining Corporation. Badr did
not name the four foreign firms which won the licenses to
operate in Libya but said these companies have to form
partnerships with Libyan firms whether state-owned or private
ones. "The National Mining Corporation fixed the minimum share
of the Libyan side in the partnership operation at 50 percent,"
said Badr, adding the bid winners have also to pay 25,000 dinars
($21,150) as upfront payments. [Reuters, 7/22/08]

REGIONAL ISSUES

8. Energy projects with Egypt: Libya is planning an oil
refinery and a natural gas pipeline in Egypt, helping boost
investment in its Arab neighbor to $10 billion in the next two
years, its prime minister has said. "We have now about $2
billion (of investments) and we expect that within a period of
two years maximum this will reach $10 billion," al-Baghdadi Ali
al-Mahmoudi told a news conference. "It was agreed that an oil
refinery will be built west of Alexandria with Libyan funding
and it will be used for Libyan crude," he added. The refinery
would have a capacity of 250,000 barrels per day, Mahmoudi said,
without giving further details. Plans also included a natural
gas pipeline between the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria and
the Libyan city of Tobruk, Mahmoudi said. He did not say if the
pipeline would carry Egyptian natural gas or Libyan natural gas
or say when it would begin operating. Other investments could
include agriculture, real estate, and further energy projects,
Mahmoudi said. [Reuters, 7/3/08]

9. Portugal and Libya ink accords: OPEC-member Libya and
Portugal have signed two accords to boost cooperation in the oil
and gas industry and allow the north African country to carry
out investments inside and outside Portugal, Libya's official
news agency Jana said. The two countries signed a framework
agreement and a memorandum of understanding on Saturday in
Tripoli during a visit by Portuguese Prime Minister Jose
Socrates. The framework agreement seeks to encourage
cooperation in oil and natural gas, especially in the areas of
exploration, drilling, distribution, refinery and oil supply.
The agreement also aims to boost bilateral trade and invited
Portuguese companies to carry out projects in Libya in sectors
such as housing, renewable energy, water purification,
sanitation and tourism. The memorandum of understanding
stipulates that the Libyan Investment Corporation (LIC) explore
the possibilities of investment on its own, or in partnership
with the Portuguese Ministry of Economy, in tourist, real estate
and petrochemical projects both inside and outside Portugal,
Jana said. [Reuters, 7/20/08]


OIL & GAS

10. Gazprom in Libya talks: Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled
energy company, has offered to buy all oil and gas available for
export from Libya, threatening to grab greater control of
Europe's energy supplies. Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller
made the proposal to Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi during a
visit to Tripoli on July 9, the Moscow-based company said in a
statement. Libya exported about 1.53 million barrels of oil a
day in 2006, almost enough to supply Italy. Gazprom considers
the country its priority partner in North Africa and said it has
registered a unit called Gazprom Libya in Tripoli. Less than a
month ago the company opened its first African office in
neighboring Algeria. [Bloomberg, 7/10/08]

11. Libya to Cut Oil Production Because of Pipeline Work:
Libya will cut output by 5.7 percent because of pipeline
maintenance, trimming supplies at a time of near-record prices.
The repairs will shut down 100,000 barrels a day of production
this week, Shokri Ghanem, the country's top oil official, said
in telephone interview. Libya has already idled Total SA's
75,000 barrel-a-day al-Jurf field after a drilling accident in
May. [Bloomberg, 7/15/08]

12. Star Consortium concludes $2 billion Libya deal: The Star
Consortium, comprised of UAE-based Al Ghurair Investments'
subsidiary TransAsia Gas International and ETA Ascon Star
Group's Star Petro Energy, has concluded a $2 billion deal with
the National Oil Company of Libya to set up a joint venture
company to own and upgrade its Ras Lanuf refinery. The proposed
Joint Venture Company will be incorporated and registered in one
of the free zones in Dubai, with offices in Ras Lanuf, Tripoli
and Dubai. [Libyainvestment.com, 7/15/08]

13. Houston-based NATCO Awarded Contract: NATCO has announced
that it has been awarded a $24.9 million contract to provide
membrane separation technology and equipment to capture CO2 for
re-injection in Bouri, Libya's largest offshore oil field. Eni
Oil Limited Libyan Branch operates the Bouri production
platforms in the Mediterranean Sea, one of which will house the
pre-treatment equipment and membrane systems intended to treat
more than 160MM SCFD gas. [Reuters, 7/16/08]

14. Yara Deal with NOC: Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC)
and Yara International ASA of Norway, have completed a joint
venture for the production and marketing of mineral fertilizer.
This partnership agreement was signed on July 17 by Dr Shokri M.
Ghanem for and on behalf of the NOC, Mr Mustafa Zarti on behalf
of the Libyan Investment Authority, and Dr. Thorleif Enger,
President and CEO of Yara International ASA. The planned Joint
Venture will be owned 50% by YARA and 50% by the Libyan party
(National Oil Corporation and Libyan Investment Authority) which
includes the ammonia and urea plants located at Marsa el Brega
in Libya, presently owned by the NOC. It is planned that the
newly formed joint venture will commence the operation of the
plants during the month of September 2008. This partnership
agreement covers upgrading the existing production capacity at
Marsa el Brega in Libya, and to study the feasibility of adding
new fertilizer plants. [NOC website, 7/18/08]

15. Enppi, Petrojet Win $1.4 Billion Gas-Pipeline Contract in
Libya: Petroleum Projects & Technical Consultations Co.
(Petrojet) and Engineering for the Petroleum and Process
Industries (Enppi) have reportedly won a $1.4 billion contract
to expand Libya's natural-gas distribution network. The two
Egyptian state-run companies will extend Libya's gas pipeline
network by 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), the Egyptian Oil
Ministry said today in a statement on its Web site. The contract
is part of a Libyan project to link 500,000 homes to the gas
network in five years, it said. Egypt and Libya also plan to
link their electricity grids to facilitate power trading during
periods of peak consumption, according to the statement.
[Bloomberg, 7/18/08]

16. Libya wins better terms for oil field contracts: Four of
Europe's biggest energy groups have rewritten two large oilfield
contracts with Libya, agreeing to significantly reduced terms
for the right to keep working there. Total of France,
StatoilHydro of Norway, Spain's Repsol and Austria's OMV agreed
to pay a $1 billion signing bonus for the contracts, which
extend their stakes in the projects for another 10-15 years to
2032. The onshore fields, which lie 700km south of Tripoli,
produce 300,000 barrels a day, with output expected to rise to
380,000 b/d in 2012. The two contracts cover block NC115, in
which Total and OMV have 30 per cent stakes and Repsol the
remaining 40 per cent. In the other block, Total and OMV each
hold a 24 per cent stake, Repsol has 32 per cent stake and
StatoilHydro holds the remaining 20 percent. [Reuters, 7/18/08]

17. Distance Learning Agreement signed between NOC and IHRDC:
On Thursday 27th July 2008, the Libyan NOC signed a distance
learning agreement with Houston-based International Human
Resources Development Corporation (IHRDC) which is organized and
authorized by British Petroleum (BP). Under this Agreement,
IHRDC will install a distance learning system, which will allow
300 users access at the same time through NOC's main domain.
150 licenses are to be given to national companies, as well as
NOC's affiliates, in order to expand the user's base of the
distance learning process. IHRDC will provide training and
workshops on the application of such system. [NOC website,
7/29/08]

18. Verenex Makes Find: Verenex Energy, Inc., the Canadian
explorer that operates in North Africa and France, has made its
seventh oil find in Libya's western region of Ghadames. The
exploration well, called 4/47-1A, tested at flow-rates between
1,399 and 1,535 barrels a day, according to Libya's state-run
NOC in a statement on its website. Under a 30-year
production-sharing agreement signed in 2005 by Verenex,
Indonesia's PT Medco Energi International and Libya, the two
foreign companies will take 13.7 percent of any output and the
North African state 86.3 percent. Verenex is the operator of the
concession. Medco said in February that all six wells drilled
in area 47 had found oil, and that the concession held potential
reserves of 1 billion barrels with a potential daily output of
75,000 barrels a day. [Bloomberg, 7/28/08]

19. Libyan Oil Shipments Resume with Switzerland: According to
Head of the Swiss Oil Association Rolf Hartl, Tripoli has
resumed oil supplies to Switzerland with its own ships,
reversing a July 24 decision to halt shipments. A Libyan tanker
arrived in Genoa with 80,000 tones of crude oil which will be
transferred to the Swiss refinery of Collombey through an oil
pipeline. Two Swiss citizens detained in Libya immediately after
the arrest of Hannibal al-Qadhafi have been released, though
they are not allowed to leave the country. The two work for a
Swiss company in Libya, and were officially arrested for
violation of immigration regulations. After 10 days in prison,
they are now in the Swiss embassy in Tripoli, waiting for
authorization to leave. [AGI, 7/30/08]

20. Boots & Coots signs hydraulic workover and prevention
contract in Libya: Boots & Coots International Well Control of
Houston, Texas has announced it has signed a multi-service
contract with Libya's Harouge Oil Operations Company. The new
contract, valued at close to US$15 million for a two year
period, with optional one year extensions, provides for one
hydraulic workover unit and a Safeguard prevention well control
specialist for Harouge's Amal field. The hydraulic workover and
prevention services provided under the contract give Harouge
in-house first responder capabilities and will help the oil
company achieve its field maintenance and production objectives.
Boots & Coots currently performs services under hydraulic
workover/snubbing and/or Safeguard contracts in the North
African neighboring countries, Algeria and Egypt, as well as in
West Africa, the Middle-East, Venezuela, India, Oman and
domestically in the US. [Boots & Coots website, 7/31/08]


STEVENS

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