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Cablegate: Libya Commercial Round-Up for November 2008

VZCZCXRO5505
RR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTRO #0976/01 3570843
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220843Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4262
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS 0709
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 1352
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS 0848
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT 0791
RUEHVT/AMEMBASSY VALLETTA 0371
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 4784
RUEHCL/AMCONSUL CASABLANCA 0011
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0085
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0969
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0656

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TRIPOLI 000976

C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDING ADDRESSEES

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/MAG (NARDI, HAYES, PATTERSON)
STATE PASS USTR (BURKHEAD) AND USAID (MCCLOUD)
USDOC FOR ITA/MAC/ONE (NATHAN MASON), ADVOCACY CTR (REITZA), AND
CLDP (TEJTEL AND MCMANUS)
CASABLANCA FOR FCS (ORTIZ)
AMMAN FOR ESTH HUB (BHALLA)
CAIRO FOR FINANCIAL ATTACHE (SEVERENS)
LONDON AND PARIS FOR NEA WATCHER

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

TRIPOLI 00000976 001.2 OF 005


CONSULTING

1. (SBU) Economics officer and senior commercial officer met on
November 30 with a representative of Bearing Point, who was in
Tripoli discussing future contracts for the company with the
Libyan government. Bearing Point did a Basel Core Principles
assessment for Libya a few years ago, and now is interested in
helping the Central Bank implement some of the recommendations
previously made, including work on the regulatory regime for
banking supervision, and anti-money laundering. Bearing Point is
also discussing with the Privatization Board a study tour of
U.S. regulators for the power industry. Bearing Point is also in
discussions with the Economic Development Board about Bearing
Point's assistance in coordinating between the various economic
actors carrying out programs and assisting in the development of
SME's through the business incubator program.

OIL & GAS

2. (U) Energy City Libya Masterplan: Bahrain's Gulf Finance
House launched the $5 billion Energy City Libya project, which
will develop the country as a regional hub for the energy
sector. The project will cover 6 square kilometers on the shore
of Sabratha, a city 70km west of Tripoli and is intended to
serve as a crossroads between the European, African and Arab
markets. The project involves the construction of a centerpiece
surrounded by specialized business clusters including an
environmental and renewable energy advisory centre, an area
dedicated to oil and gas producers, an area for shipping and
trading companies, an area for energy service industries, and an
area for downstream and infrastructure industries. The Economic
and Social Fund of Libya is an investor in the project and will
have a consultative role in the project. [MEED, 11/9/2008]

3. (U) Canadian Firm Verenex Submits Final Appraisal Report for
Libya's Area 47: The report recommends that the field be
declared commercial as a first step in advancing a gross 50,000
barrels of oil per day development project in the southern part
of Area 47. Under the Exploration and Production Sharing
Agreement (EPSA), a declaration of commerciality by the Area
Management Committee would clear the way to establish a Joint
Operating Company with the National Oil Corporation as a 50%
partner to finalize the development plan and to execute the
project. [Petroleum Africa, 11/13/2008]

4. (U) Geology of Southern Libya Symposium & Exhibition: The
event was officially sponsored by the National Oil Corporation
and marked the 50th anniversary of the Earth Science Society of
Libya. The symposium and exhibition was held during 17 - 20
November. Geosciences, seismic, geophysical, and exploration and
production services companies, as well as consulting and
training organizations from UK, USA, Denmark, Spain, Canada and
Libya participated. [libyaonline.com, 11/15/2008]

5. (U) Geowave Endeavour sets production record for any seismic
vessel: Norwegian Wavefield is undertaking BP's offshore seismic
data collection with the Geowave Endeavour vessel. The vessel
acquired 2,991 sail miles during the month of October while
working offshore Libya for BP; this is believed to be a new
production record for any seismic vessel. The contract
incorporates the industry's largest ever onboard processing
project. This is BP's largest 3D seismic survey ever acquired in
terms of area. [Hart Energy Publishing, 11/21/ 2008]

6. (U) Libya-focused Verenex Energy opens data rooms to
potential buyers: The Canadian company, focused on Libya,
announced in September it was considering selling options but
had not specifically said it was for sale. The data rooms will
remain open until at least mid-December, and the company aims to
make a decision in the first quarter of 2009.Verenex Energy Inc.
The Libyan National Oil Corporation has approved a list of large
companies qualified to view the confidential technical data on
the assets in the Ghadames Basin. Verenex acquired rights to
Area 47 in 2005 and has drilled 16 exploration and appraisal
wells, and released an estimate that the area contains 2.15
billion barrels of oil equivalent. [oilweek.com, 11/27/2208]


TRIPOLI 00000976 002.2 OF 005


7. (U) Pertamina in talks to acquire Verenex's Libya oil field:
Indonesian oil company PT Pertamina is in talks with Verenex
Energy Inc. to buy the Canada-based firm's stakes in an oil
field in the Ghadames Basin, Libya. Pertamina already has
exploration rights in two blocks in Libya. It is still unclear
if Pertamina intends to enter the block alone or with partners.
[The Jakarta Post, 11/29/2008]

8. (U) OiLibya Begins Pouring Oil in Ethiopia: After 60 years of
presence in the country, as of November 14, Shell Ethiopia has
totally moved out of the Ethiopian market, after Libya Oil
Holding Ltd (OiLibya) finalized the purchase and sale agreement.
Shell signed a purchase sale and agreement with OiLibya, which
gives the latter 100% ownership of Shell's downstream oil
products marketing business share in Ethiopia. Its 142 employees
have been retained. The last months of Shell Ethiopia's life
were characterized by a serious confrontation it had with the
company's labor union over service benefit claims the employees
demanded. OiLibya has already pledged a 15% salary increment for
the employees as of January 2009. [allafrica.com, 11/25/2208]

REGIONAL ISSUES

9. (U) Liberia gets 30 Tons of Rice from Libya: The government
of Libya has provided about 30 tons of rice to Liberia. The
Charge d'Affaires of the Libyan People's Bureau in Liberia,
Aymen T.A. Shah, said the donation was Libya's way of
identifying with Liberia in the wake of global food crisis; in
response, Deputy Foreign Minister for Administration, Johnson N.
Gwaikolo, who received the rice on behalf of the Liberian
government, commended the government and people of Libya for the
donation. During the year, Libya has also donated generators,
tractors, and several medical supplies to Liberia.
[libyaonline.com, 11/3/2008]

10. (U) Libya, Belarus Sign Cooperation Agreements: During an
official visit by Muammar al-Qadhafi to Belarus, Libya and
Belarus signed four agreements related to the economic, judicial
and cultural sectors. The signing ceremony took place on
November 3rd. The agreements include a convention on avoiding
double taxation, a protocol on cooperation between judicial
branches, a memorandum of understanding between the two
countries' standardization agencies and an agreement on media
cooperation. Muammar al-Qadhafi arrived in Minsk after visiting
Moscow. [Tripoli Post, 11/4/2008]

11. (U) Memorandum of Understanding Signed between Libya and the
Ukraine: Ukraine and Libya signed Convention for Avoidance of
Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to
Taxation on Income. Also, a Memorandum of Understanding in the
area of Metrology and Certification was signed. The memorandums
were signed in the presence of Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko and Muammar al-Qadhafi, on a state visit to Kyiv.
[ljbc, 11/4/2008]

12. (U) Libya offers employment opportunities to Sri Lankans: A
12- member Libyan labor delegation, led by Libyan Manpowerr
Minister, Matough Mohamed Matough, made a four-day visit to Sri
Lanka. Libya and Sri Lanka entered into a Memorandum of
Understanding regarding health, hospitality, and education. The
Libyan Minister indicated their urgent requirements of doctors,
nurses, and paramedics in the Libyan hospitals. Libya also
indicated its desire to set up a hotel management school in Sri
Lanka, and to have engineering, physics, biology, and chemistry
lecturers from Sri Lanka in its universities. Sri Lanka
President has also approved the setting up of a Sri Lanka High
Commission in Libya. Libya has come forward to recruit
immediately 1,000 doctors and 1,000 nurses from Sri Lanka.
[Asian Tribune, 11/6/2008]

13. (U) New Islamic University to Open in Kampala: The
Libyan-based World Islamic Call Society is to open a university
in Uganda by the end of this year. The society's
secretary-general, Dr. Muhammad Shariff, said the university,
which started in Tripoli, Libya in 1975 had opened up branches
in Chad, Syria and England. The university would initially
operate from the training centre at the Old Kampala Mosque,

TRIPOLI 00000976 003.2 OF 005


before relocating to a permanent place. [New Vision Kampala,
11/11/2008]

14. (U) EU-Libya talks start: Negotiations on an EU-Libya
Framework Agreement, covering political, social, economic,
commercial and cultural relations with Libya, opened in Brussels
with EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
and representatives of the current French EU presidency
representing Europe. On the Libyan side of the table will be
Secretary for European Affairs Abdulati Elobeidi and Mohamed
Tahar Siala, Deputy Secretary at the General People Committee
for International Cooperation. To date Libya remains the only
Mediterranean country with no official relations with the
European bloc. Earlier this year Libya had declined an
invitation to join the Union for the Mediterranean proposed by
the EU's French Presidency. [eubusiness.com, 11/12/2008]

CONSTRUCTION

15. (U) Sovereign Hospitality Holdings to develop urban resort
in Tripoli with InterContinental Hotels Group: Kuwaiti Sovereign
Hospitality Holdings announced it will develop an extensive
resort in Tripoli, Libya, to be managed by Holiday Inn, an
InterContinental Hotels Group owned brand. The development will
feature the 4 star Holiday Inn Tripoli Hotel, as well as real
estate opportunities, and is due to open in 2011. Sovereign
Hospitality Holdings will invest around $130 million in this
project. [libyaninvestment.com, 11/11/2008]

16. (U) Thai Firm Wangdee Engineering ready for $40 million
project in Libya: Thai Wangdee Engineering and Construction
Company has entered the North African market by securing a
contract to build housing units worth $40 million in the south
of Libya. The contract is part of a Libyan government public
housing programme in which 25,000 housing units will be built
nationwide. Rawas for Constructions and Maintenance Company is
the main contractor for the Libyan government's rural area
development project, and Wangdee is a subcontractor for 1,612
one-storey row houses in the southern city of Brack, about 700
kilometers south of Tripoli. [Bangkok Post, 11/22/2008]

17. (U) South Korea's Kolon wins $86 million deal in Libya: The
Kolon Engineering & Construction Company, a South Korean
builder, signed a preliminary $86 million deal to build a sewage
treatment plant in Tripoli. The plant is expected to be
completed 30 months after its launch. [Business in Asia Today,
11/24/2008]

18. (U) Libya sets up joint venture with Egypt's Sewedy: Two
Libya's state-owned firms have set up a $25 million joint
venture with Egypt's El Sewedy Cables, to produce high voltage
cables for Libya's domestic market. The joint venture has been
named El Mushtaraka Cables Manufacturing. El Sewedy owns 55
percent, Manufacturing Investment Development Company Holding
owns 40 percent and Electricity Industries Company, owns 5
percent of the JV. El Sewedy is one of the biggest cable
manufacturers in the Middle East. [Reuters, 27/11/2008]

19. (U) China Railway Construction Corporation starts $1.7
billion project in Libya: The railway project consists of a 453
kilometer railway line which will link Tripoli with Sirte. The
railway line is part of a major Libyan plan to build a railway
network linking it to other African states, including
neighboring Maghreb countries. Libya is one of China's largest
trading partners in Africa, with two-way trade estimated by
Libyan officials at more than $2.0 billion during last year.
[Reuters, 11/28/2008]

20. (U) Libya Enlists British Architects for Conflict Museum:
The London-based Metropolitan Workshop, a collective of British
architects, has won a closed competition to design the conflict
museum. The proposed design takes the form of a sequence of
origami-like, zigzag forms that somehow manage to conjure an
image of some ultra-modern Bedouin tent hunkered down in the
desert dunes of North Africa. [dexigner.com, 11/30/2008]

IT/TELECOM

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21. (U) Atrexx Targets the North African Oil and Gas Market:
German company Atrexx, a provider of telecommunication and
broadcast services, has confirmed the conclusion of major
contracts for the provision of satellite communications to
European suppliers in the Libyan oil and gas industry. The
communications will be provided to remote exploration sites and
to drilling teams based in the region. Atrexx has been working
in the Libyan oil and gas market since the embargo was lifted.
[Atrexx, 11/3/2008]

22. (U) North Africa to See Enterprise Voice & Data: Tunisia
Telecom Integrator and Alcatel-Lucent have joined forces to
supply enterprise voice and data solutions in the North African
nations of Libya and Tunisia. The agreement will showcase the
two firms' common skills and technological abilities and broaden
their presence in North Africa. Alcatel-Lucent and TTE will
offer complete and secure communication solutions while evolving
the network infrastructure in Tunis and Libya. [TmcNET,
11/4/2008]

23. (U) Summit in Bahrain to Address Information Technology
Priorities: The event aims to discuss Information Technology
(IT) Strategies to develop the productivity of the Oil & Gas
sector, discuss challenges facing this industry in the Arab
region and establish a strategic platform for the IT executives
in the Oil, Gas and Industrial sector. The OT Summit took place
November 18 and 19, and hosted the heads of IT sectors in the
region's top oil producing countries.[otsummit.com, 11/17/2008]

24. (U) ThurayaIP Rolled Out in Libyan Government and Corporate
Sectors: Thuraya, a UAE Satellite Telecommunications Company,
signed a major commercial deal with the General Post and
Telecommunications Company (GPTC), according to which a large
number of ThurayaIP terminals will be rolled out in most areas
within Libya before the end of this year. Thuraya has recently
begun installing ThurayaIP terminals for key user segments
including government agencies, oil and gas companies, business
corporate, media and international organizations operating in
the country. [thuraya.com, 11/18/2008]

25. (U) MicroWorld Forms Retail Partnership with CIS Libya:
MicroWord, the advanced AntiVirus and Content Security Solution
developer, announced its retail partnership with CIS Libya, a
provider of IT vendors with an established client base of
corporate companies like Libyan Telecom Company, General
Electricity Company of Libya, and Shell Libyan Branch. The
partnership aims to distribute MicroWorld's security products in
Libya. The partnership will enable both companies to work
together in helping users secure and manage their information
assets. [emailwire.com, 11/24/2008]

26. (U) Power plant builder Technopromexport and Libya to set up
energy JV: Russia's state-controlled power plant builder
Technopromexport and the Libyan African Investment Portfolio
have agreed on a joint venture to build power plants in Africa.
The joint venture, Laptechno-Power, will build and operate power
facilities in seven African countries: Libya, Uganda, Ghana,
Algeria, Egypt, Yemen and Namibia. The construction of electric
power facilities will be financed by the Libyan African
Investment Portfolio, which will manage $6.73 billion in funds
to implement the projects in the seven countries. The first
projects will be the construction of a 1,250-km [777-mile]
electric transmission line with a capacity of 400 kiloWatts in
Libya and a 300 MegaWatts hydro power plant on the Blue Nile
River in Uganda. [RIA Novosti, 11/20/2008]

BANKING

27. (U) Egypt's Beltone Financial opens office in Libya:
Egypt-based investment bank Beltone Financial has expanded into
Libya by partnering with the Libyan Economic and Social
Development Fund to open an office in Tripoli. "Beltone
Financial is providing a comprehensive suite of services in
Tripoli including securities brokerage, asset management,
investment, corporate restructuring and advisory services," the
bank said in a statement. Beltone was established in 2002, and

TRIPOLI 00000976 005.2 OF 005


is present in Cairo, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, Qatar, London and
New York. The investment bank manages about 30 billion pounds of
assets. [Reuters, 8/11/2008]

28. (U) First Gulf Bank teams up with Libya to launch first
joint lender: Abu Dhabi-based lender First Gulf Bank (FGB) and
Libya's Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF) have
launched First Gulf Libyan Bank (FGLB) operations in Tripoli,
Libya. The inauguration was held under the patronage of the
Libyan Prime Ministry. Equally owned by ESDF and FGB and fully
managed by FGB, FGLB will initially offer a range of corporate
products to businesses in Libya. FGLB will expand its range of
services to address the emerging needs of the country. [Gulf
News, 13/11/2008]

PRESS

29. (U) AFP launches bureau in Libya: Agence France-Presse
formally opened a bureau in Tripoli on November 22, the first
global news agency in Libya. The new bureau, directly linked to
AFP's Middle East regional headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus, will
be staffed by two journalists covering Libyan news in Arabic and
French, plus a photographer. The news agency was previously
represented in Tripoli by a local freelance. [libyaonline.com,
23/11/2008]

TRANSPORTATION

30. (U) The Oil Carrier "Aisha" included to the Fleet of Public
Marine Transport Company: The modern oil carrier "Aisha" built
by Samsung Company, was enlisted to the commercial operation of
the Libyan national company for public marine transport. Its
capacity reaches 100,000 barrels. Resources from the Libyan
marine transport company mentioned that the enlisting of this
carrier to the company fleet follows the company's plan to
become the biggest fleet of oil carriers in the Arab and
Mediterranean Sea. The plan is under the supervision of Hannibal
al-Qadhafi. [libyaninvestment.com, 23/11/2008]
GODFREYJT

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