Croatian firms hope for early return to Libya

Croatian firms that left jobs worth some 200 million Euros once the conflict had broken out in Libya last February are hoping to soon return to the country and resume their contracts.

The companies have established contacts with the new government and Croatia just sent the new Ambassador Petar Ljubicic to Tripoli last week. Ljubicic says that the Libyan National Council promised to honour all previously-signed agreements.

That is good news for Croatian companies Montmontaza, Crosco and Geofizika, daily Vecernji List writes.

Some Croatian businessmen believe that Libya could become a very interesting destination for Croatian businesses, especially the shipbuilders.

Mladen Saric from Adria Mar that specialises in military and special-purpose vessels says that – should the new Libyan government honour all contracts – the company would have to increase its workforce that was cut by 30 per cent.

Adria Mar is still owed four million Euros, while it was supposed to start a 60 million Euro project last March – a construction of six coastal patrol ships. They foresee problems however in the stretched out budget further exhausted by the humanitarian needs of the state.

Tomislav Leko from Geofizika says that the company had jobs worth 37.5 million Euros at the time they withdrew from Libya. They were also in the process of negotiating new jobs worth 25 million Euros.

Because of the suspension of works - seismic surveys of the oil sector – Geofizika had to let 134 of its Libyan workers go. Should the projects resume, they plan to rehire them.

Montomontaza also had to lay off part of their workers working on lake recreation complex in Benghazi. Montmontaza’s director Mladen Antunovic says that the value of the project was 50 million Euros and the company invested six million just in equipment.

Both Montmontaza and Crosco – who were drilling for international companies - are in the process of preparing damage estimates and seeking compensation.

(Source: Croatian Times)

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