Turkish contractors pay price in Libyan conflict

Companies to learn fate of $1bn worth of kit as conflict nears end

An abandoned site in Libya. Photo: Getty
An abandoned site in Libya. Photo: Getty

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As Libyan rebels close in on the capital Tripoli, the impact the conflict and the Arab Spring has had on the Turkish construction industry is starting to become clearer.

According to the Turkish Contractors Association (TMB), Turkish contractors are still owed $18.4 billion due to the cancellation of projects across the Middle East and North Africa.

The TMB’s Construction Sector Analysis report reveals that the biggest losses have been from the civil war in Libya.

Construction sites were attacked and looted at the outbreak of the conflict, forcing companies to abandon sites and machinery. One of Turkey's biggest companies, TAV, had to shut down $2.8bn construction projects in Libya and evacuate more than 4000 staff, leaving Tripoli's new airport terminal project only half complete.

Turkey’s share of the Libyan construction market was 14.1%, with contractors working on 529 projects valued at $27 billion before the civil war. The TMB estimates that Turkish companies have $1 billion worth of equipment left in the country.

“The biggest financial danger is being witnessed in Libya, where internal disorder is slowly turning into a civil war. Currently, the total amount of uncollected money by Turkish contractors in Libya has reached $1.6 billion while their cash deposits in Libyan banks has neared $100 million,” said the TMB.


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