The South Korean companies Hyundai and Doosan have reportedly suspended construction of a 1,400-megawatt power plant in Sirte because of security concerns.
Abu Bakr Makhyoune, the plant’s managing director, told Reuters:
“It is only temporary. They had orders from the South Korean government to pull out because of the security situation in Libya.
“Around 570 foreigners working for Hyundai and 382 others working for Doosan started to leave on Saturday."
In 2007, Hyundai and Doosan won the 1.8 billion dinar ($1.5 billion) contract to build and operate the power plant, along with U.S.-based Bechtel, France’s Geocean and Turkey’s Gama Enerji.
Makhyoune said Bechtel was still operating in Sirte but without American staff, while 350 workers belonging to Gama Enerji had returned to Sirte after a brief break. Geocean has already left, as its contract has ended.
The plant was scheduled to start operating in this year with four oil-fired units of 350 MW each, but due to the continued instability only one 175 MW unit has started production so far.
Around 52 Libyan engineers have taken over operation of the plant from the departing South Korean staff, Makhyoune said.