Koreans halt work on Libyan power plant

Hyundai and Doosan workers leave site in Sirte as unrest worsens.

Doosan, Hyundai, Libya, News

South Korean engineering companies Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Doosan Heavy Industries have suspended construction of a 1,400 MW power plant in Libya because of security concerns.

Around 570 foreigners working for Hyundai and 382 others working for Doosan started to leave the site in the town of Sirte on Saturday, 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," he said.

Rival militias have been fighting for control of Libya’s two biggest cities for more than a month. There have been no recent clashes in Sirte, which is 460 km from Tripoli and 570 km from Benghazi.

In 2007 Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Doosan Engineering won the $1.5 bn contract to build and operate the power plant, along with Bechtel, France's Geocean and Turkey's Gama Enerji.

The Gulf power plant was scheduled to start operating in 2014 with four oil-fired units of 350 MW each. But construction has been held up by the civil war that toppled Gaddafi in 2011 and then by the ensuing fighting between militias. Only one 175 MW unit has started production so far.


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