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Bahrain-based bank to build Libyan Energy City

Gulf Finance House to build multi-billion dollar city in Libya offering support services for oil firms.

Bahrain-based Islamic bank Gulf Finance House (GFH) has won a contract to build a multi-billion dollar city in Libya offering support services for oil firms, the state news agency JANA said on Monday. The $3.8 billion (€2.6 billion) Energy City will feature residential and business facilities over 528 hectares1,300 acres) in the Sabratha district, 80 kilometer (50 miles) west of the Libyan capital. The city aims to provide oil and gas companies operating in the area with “the adequate infrastructure to develop their activities” including housing, office blocks, hotels, shopping malls and cultural center, the agency said. The scheme will be led by GFH in conjunction with the Libyan economic and social development fund.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Hamad Al Hadhari, President of the Libyan Social Development Fund, and Esam Janahi, Chairman of Gulf Finance House at a high profile ceremony. The Energy City concept is expected to reinforce and consolidate Libya’s energy industry by providing complete business infrastructure to both local as well as foreign oil and gas producers, downstream refiners and producers and businesses involved in shipping, energy trading and support services. Hamad Al Hadhari, President of the Libyan Social Development Fund said “We are fully supportive of GFH’s vision for Energy City Libya. We are confident that this project will add great value to Libya’s economic infrastructure and will also help to set new standards in the quality of our social infrastructure. GFH’s initiative will also help to encourage more foreign direct investment, particularly from the Gulf. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with GFH on this project and other projects in the future.”

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Chokri Ghanim, President of the Libyan National Oil Corporation said “We are very impressed with the concept of Energy City Libya as presented to us by Esam Janahi. We firmly believe Energy City Libya will have a positive impact on the GDP and creating job opportunities. Furthermore, Energy City Libya will not only benefit Libya but the region as a whole. The Libyan National Oil Corporation is committed in providing its full support to this project. Commenting on the reasons behind choosing Libya as the fourth in a series of global destinations chosen for the Energy City network, Esam Janahi said: “The Libyan investment climate is currently undergoing major changes with the oil and gas sector receiving unprecedented interest from global players. With proven crude oil reserves, of 41 billion barrels, Libya has the largest reserves in Africa (42%) and 3% of the world’s reserves. Furthermore, the Libyan National Oil Corporation aims to boost oil production from today’s 1.8 million barrels per day to 2 million by 2008 and 3 million by 2013, which is estimated to require total investment of $30 billion. We are confident that at this most important time, a unique concept like Energy City will further add momentum to the progress and status of Libya’s burgeoning energy sector. With the support of the Libyan Government and their pro-active policies, we will be successful in providing an effective and vital platform for the future prosperity of Libya”

OPEC member Libya is the African continent’s second largest oil producer at 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd). It has estimated reserves of 42 billion barrels and aims to reach a production level of three million bpd in 2010. (Middle East Online)