Category Archives: MENA REGION

#LegalCorner: Qatar Crisis & Its Effect on Shipping

A Brief by Watson Farley & Williams:





Libya: Libyan Cement Company (LCC) plans to reopen Hawari plants


Plans to rebuild and reopen the two cement factories in Benghazi’s Hawari district have been announced by the owners, the Libya Cement Company (LCC).

The plants closed in mid-2014 when fighting in the area between the Libyan National Army and militants started. For almost two years, the militants effectively controlled the area and it was not till April last year that the cement works were finally recaptured.

At a recent general meeting of LCC, held in Amman, Jordan, the chairman of its parent Joint Libyan Cement Company (JLCC), Ahmed Ben Halim, said that full priority was being given to getting the Benghazi plants operational again.

However, he acknowledged that this would not be easy given that the two factories were damaged in fighting in March-April 2016.

An LCC statement says that instigations have shown the damage to be significant and that extensive re-building will be necessary. It will take at least a year before they can return to production, during which time the site will have to be made safe, new machinery and parts brought in, new skilled construction workers found and necessary utilities such as electricity and gas restored.

Fortunately, the statement notes, management took out Political Violence Insurance with Lloyds of London in 2015. The insurers have now accepted claims as legitimate, it says, adding that these are likely to run into tens of millions of euros.

LCC also owns a third cement factory in Derna’s Fataieh area which, remarkably, managed to continue operating despite being in a war zone, first between Mujahideen and the so-called Islamic State and then between the mujahideen and the Libyan National Army. At the LCC general meeting, the CEO of LCC, Robert Soloman, paid credit to the staff of the Fataieh factory for keeping it going.

Meanwhile, Ben Halim has welcomed a decision by the Beida-based interim government to continue paying company staff, despite the fact their Benghazi cement factory being closed.

Earlier this month, the Thinni administration confirmed that it would continue paying a minimum salary of LD 459 a month to employees of a number of foreign-owned or run companies unable to operate because of the military situation.

In addition to LCC, these are the General Company for Textile and Clothing in Benghazi, the General Company for Electronics in Garyounis, Melkam Oil Company and the National Development Company for Construction.

LCC is 90-percent owned by the Joint Libyan Cement Company (JLCC), itself a joint venture between Asamar Libya and the Economic and Social Development Fund (ESDF). Asamer Libya was bought two years ago from the Austrian parent company, Asamer, by Libya Holdings Group, headed by Ben Halim.

LH 15.05.2017

Libya: The GAZA Off-shore Floating Storage Loads Its First Crude Oil Vessel

On Saturday 11 February 2017, the first crude oil vessel was loaded at GAZA Floating Storage, Offloading Marine Terminal (FSO) in Bouri Offshore Field, which was launched to replace Sloug Floating Storage Offloading (FSO) and to be included within the oil operations system of Mellitah Oil and Gas Company.

The floating Storage was manufactured by one of the specialized international companies in the Republic of Korea and it is considered one of the major projects that were carried out by Mellitah Oil and Gas to provide with a huge storage capacity of crude oil for Bouri Offshore Field, estimated at 1.5 million barrels of crude oil. GAZA Floating Storage, of 360 meters’ length and 60 meters’ breadth, reached Al Bouri Field at the end of May 2016, after a voyage from the shipyard in Jinhae in South Korea passing from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

The works of the offshore installations of the pipes, marine cables and optical fibers were completed along with the production platforms at the Field by the end of 2016, and the processed crude oil was pumped at the main installation at the end of January 2017.

Short Presentation: GAZA Floating Storage PDF

Libya: Russia considers resumption of work on Libyan railway

Russia has indicated it is happy for its companies to return to Libya, pending security approval, and will also look at resuming construction of the stalled railway line from Sirte to Benghazi.

The news came after Presidency Council (PC) Faiez Serraj and his delegation concluded their visit to Moscow with a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and a number of top Russian officials, including deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

The two sides agreed a joint committee,the Libyan Russian Business Council, to restart stalled Russian projects, including the 554-kilometre train track from Sirte to Benghazi that began work in 2008.

Dvorkovich also happens to be the chairman of the Russian Railways’ board of directors.

However, whilst Dvorkovich said he approved of Russia’s businesses returning to Libya, it would be up to the companies themselves to assess the security situation and make the final decision.

He also welcomed moves by Russia’s oil industry to return to Libya. Two weeks ago, Russia’s largest oil company, Rosneft, signed a cooperation agreement with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC).

Both sides also looked at renewed military and security cooperation..

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meanwhile is reported saying that Russian would consider reopening its embassy in Tripoli

The delegation has now left Moscow. Siala has headed to Cairo for a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers ahead of the Arab summit in Amman, Jordan, in late March.

Source: LH 5.3.2017


Libya: Turkish Tanker and Crew Seized Off Zwara, Possibly Linked to Ongoing Fuel Smuggling

A small Turkish tanker has been seized by armed men in Zuwara and the eleven crew members taken prisoner.

The MV Haci Telli from the Turkish port of Tuzla is reported to have docked in Zuwara six days ago. The eight-year old, 2,800 tonne vessel was taken over and the crew arrested yesterday. One source said that the owners of the tanker owed $433,000 for past oil shipments.

Because of the limited and damaged capacity of Libya’s refineries, large quantities of refined petroleum product have to be imported. No exact figures are ever released.

If it is correct that the Haci Telli has been detained over an unpaid debt, then the vessel would appear to have picked up a cargo from Libya for sale somewhere else.

It is being suggested that the crew and the vessel have been arrested over a product smuggling deal that had gone wrong. The vessel’s next destination was shown on the FleetMon website as Malta.

Source: Libya Herald 2.3.2017

Algeria: Official Decree Authorizing Private Sector to Engage in Commercial Urban and Leisure Maritime Activities


Here is the full Official Decree (In French) authorizing these Maritime Activities in Algeria.

In case of interest, We will be happy to assist:

JO Maritime #44



World Bank Flagship Report: The yearly Global Economic Prospects (Published Jan 6, 2016)


Here is the full 286-pages PDF report. Happy reading (and thanks to the World Bank) :

World Bank – Global Economic Prospects – January 2016

For those interested only in the MENA region, here is the 31-pages PDF report covering the region ( Libya showing over 35% growth in 2016 ? ..In as much as one hopes so, this is wishful thinking to say the least !!!)

– World Bank – Global Economic Prospects -January 2016-MENA