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Construction Company Strikes $Deal of Century$ in Libya (II)

Ljubljana, 18 June (STA) - Slovenian construction company SCT has signed contracts worth more than EUR 1bn to build roads in Libya in the past month, SCT boss Ivan Zidar told the STA on Friday. More deals are expected to follow.

"This is the deal of the century," Zidar said in announcing that Slovenia's biggest construction company had secured EUR 1.154bn in deals so far.

Contracts worth EUR 824m were signed on Thursday, while a EUR 330m contract was signed already in late March. Zidar expects that the final figure is likely to reach EUR 2bn as more contracts are in the works.

The latest contracts are for the construction of two roads (Al Abjar - Al Marj and Sabha - Zvelah) with a total distance of 270 kilometres. The earlier contract was for a motorway section in Benghazi.

SCT hopes to start work on the projects soon. Before it does, it will need bank guarantees, which it hopes to get soon, Zidar said.

He added that there would be enough work for SCT to invite other Slovenian construction companies to take part. The projects are likely to run for three to four years, generating monthly revenues of EUR 37m.

"The ice has been broken. SCT has been looking to penetrate the Libyan market for a decade," Zidar said.

He stressed that Prime Minister Borut Pahor and Slovenian diplomats had played an important part in this. "If the prime minister had not gone to Libya, we would not have the deals."

He was referring to Pahor's visit to Libya in November 2009 aimed at boosting business ties between the countries. Since then, Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi al-Mahmudi visited Slovenia in May and Pahor was in Libya last week.

Zidar said that SCT prided itself on its know-how in road construction. He reiterated that the company had in succeeded in obtaining deal that was fiercely competed by a number of foreign companies due to its references from the time of the former Yugoslavia.

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