Monday, December 6, 2021

As New Secure Seaport Development Goes Ahead the Search Commences for a Management Company

Deep Water Strategic Mediterranean Link for Containers and General Cargoes Envisaged
Shipping News Feature

LIBYA – US – After its troubled recent history it seems the North African country is once again starting to attract overseas investment with the news of an agreement to construct a new deep water port 1,000 kilometres from Tripoli, but only 240 north east of Benghazi.

An announcement from the Guidry Group, a Texas based outfit better known for security services such as kidnap and ransom resolution, and crisis response/management for clients including the FBI and US Secret Service. One arm of the group however looks to invest in global infrastructure, hence the latest deal.

The idea to upgrade the Port of Susah to become the deepest seaport in the region has been on the cards for a number of years and now Guidry has released more of its plans to develop a ‘Secure’ port, handling both container traffic and a variety of general cargoes, with a plan to become a transhipment destination for mainline cargo vessels traveling to and from Asia and Europe via the Suez Canal and to and from the United States.

Mr Wisam Edrisi, Deputy Minister of Transportation for Seaports & Maritime in The Government of National Unity (NUG) of Libya, spoke about the deal coming to fruition, saying:

“Susah seaport is the first BOT (build, operate, transfer) project in Libya in seaports. The project has been approved by the Ministry of Transportation and we are now looking forward to the building stage of the project. The project is expected to provide many jobs opportunities for Libyans and will help develop the maritime business.

“Being a deep seaport, the opportunity for having a transhipment hub in Libya will help economic development and position Libya in the international shipping market. The NUG-focus is on investment, especially in seaports and other infrastructure, and on inviting international companies to participate in different projects. The government will provide all the support and help to see such projects are a success.”

A natural self-dredging port with a sea depth of 18 metres, the proposed $1.5 billion newly developed Port of Susah will be constructed in four-phases. The total development cost projection of the first phase of the project is approximately $200 million. It will primarily focus on container handling, grain handling and other bulk cargoes, general cargo and as a logistics base. Its backers say the Susah Secure Port is critical to enable the Libyan economy to restart.

Now Guidry has signed a master agreement with prominent international EPC contractor, Archirodon Construction (Overseas) Company Limited, setting out the main terms of their cooperation for the design and construction of the port, the first PPP port project to be undertaken in Libya and the largest port infrastructure investment by a US company in Libya’s history. Mr Dennis Karapiperis, CEO of Archirodon, said:

“This is a significant announcement for our organisation matching our long term anticipation to continue providing our support to Libya’s development and business growth. The Susah Secure Port project will provide a focus for economic development in the country and we are proud to be playing our part, along with the Guidry Group. Our involvement in developing port infrastructure in Libya comes along with the aspiration of the international community for a bright new era for the Libyan nation.”

Dr Abdalla Al Hasse, an economic development consultant who has worked previously with Michael Guidry, CEO and President of the Guidry Group in Libya said there has been support for the Libyan Unity government as well as ministries and citizens, and that such support is likely to continue as the project develops, whilst Michael Guidry himself observed:

“We are delighted to enter into a design and construction Master Agreement with Archirodon. Archirodon brings its globally renowned experience in ports construction and has a long and distinguished history of developing port infrastructure in Libya, and the whole of MENA region. The signing of this Master Agreement sets a first solid step towards the project materialisation and establishes a strong strategic partnership between the Guidry Group and Archirodon for the development of the Susah Secure Port and for future Guidry Group port projects.

”Under the terms of the Master Agreement, Archirodon will shortly commence to undertake agreed preliminary works at the Susah Secure Port which will enable the commencement of full construction of the Port by the first quarter of 2023. I would also like to thank all the advisers involved in making this agreement possible. Together with our strategic partner Archirodon, we now also move to commence and complete negotiations with a leading international port operator that will be appointed to operate the Susah Secure Port Project.”

Photo: Archirodon has experience working in contentious areas in the region, like this clip of a new phosphate port facility, under development in Laayoune in the Western Sahara and controlled by Morocco.