Libya wants to revive its economy despite the war and political divisions that shake the country.
The oil port of Ras Lanuf east of the capital Tripoli has resumed its activities, giving impetus to a ravaged economy.
The country is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has struggled to keep crude oil production steady.
« The idea has been executed, designed and studied completely by Libya’s efforts, which would otherwise have cost us millions of dollars. »
« After the events of February 17, 2011, the Ras Lanuf plant was completely closed. An attempt to (operate) the polyethylene plant in 2013 under the same conditions was carried out. The oil component was imported from abroad and operated for a period of time, but it was useless at the time, as there was no specific plan of action as to when the rest of the plants would work. Said Shaaban Bsaibso, director of Ras Lanuf.
Production recovered to about 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, but the situation beyond oil and gas remains bleak.
« The security situation was a reason. Another reason was that the region was no longer safe for industrialists and contractors who managed the work. The desire to run the plant was not strong at the time. In a previous study in 2016-17, we tried to manage some simple but below average maintenance operations compared to its current operation. We have been working since August 15, 2018 to prepare a plan developed by the planning department. « He explained.
Ras Lanuf is located in the Libyan oil crescent, an arc of land extending south of the Mediterranean coast, where oil fields and ports are concentrated. Since 2016, it is controlled by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a commander based in the east of the country, whose Libyan National Army (LNA) is currently conducting a stalled offensive to regain control of the capital, Tripoli.
Attempts to reopen the plastics plant were unsuccessful in 2016-17, said RASCO director Shabaan Bsaibso. The preparations lasted more than a year and were carried out by Libyan engineers.
The Ras Lanuf polyethylene plant is operated by the Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Treatment Company (RASCO), which has been closed for more than eight years due to insufficient security. It reopened last month with an initial production capacity of 80,000 tonnes per year, which is expected to increase to 160,000 tonnes.