By John Lee.
The Libyan Cement Company (LCC) has said that damage to its two plants in Benghazi has been significant, but believes they can be brought back into production by summer 2018.
The factories, in Hawari district, were caught up in the battles between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and militia groups in March and April 2016.
In a statement, the company said:
"Extensive re-building of the assets is necessary. This will take time and the management estimates that 1-year will be needed to get back into production.
"There are many obstacles; the site must first be made safe, then parts and supplies must be ordered from overseas, skilled construction workers must be found and the infrastructure in Benghazi (electricity, gas supply, etc) must be restored.
"Fortunately, the business is insured. In 2015 the Management took out Political Violence Insurance with the Lloyds of London for just such an event. The insurance was expensive, but it now looks to have been the most correct move to have taken. LCC management have been vigorously presenting the claim for damages, and very recently the insurers have accepted the claim as legitimate. Agreement has been reached on the extent of physical war damage and the discussion is now about the cost to fix the damage. It is likely to reach several tens of Millions of Euros. This money is essential to pay for the needed supplies of machinery, parts and personnel required for the re-building."
Mr Robert Solomon, Chairman and CEO of LCC, thanked the employees of the firm's Al Fataiah factory in Derna for their special efforts in keeping that factory running in difficult circumstances. "Without this performance the business would be facing extreme problems," he said.
LCC, the only producer of cement in Eastern Libya, is 90-percent owned by the Joint Libyan Cement Company, which is in turn owned by Ahmed Ben Halim's Libya Holdings Group (LHG) and the Libyan Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF). LHG acquired the shareholding from Austria's Asamer Holdings in 2015.
(Sources: LCC, Libya Herald, Private Equity Wire)