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  • Guidry Group


Updated: Jan 30, 2020

A major new port project is underway in Libya, with the developer leveraging a wide-range of complementary skills, as AJ Keyes confirms.

Michael Guidry is used to working in difficult circumstances and getting the job done. A specialist in security services in some of the world’s most dangerous locations, he may not be the obvious choice to develop a new, large-scale port and logistics centre, but upon closer inspection of his skills, knowledge and capabilities, then the decision is actually highly logical., January 23, 2020

Libya is a country that has been beset with political and social turmoil for the past decade and the quality of its ports infrastructure is, unsurprising, poor. However, Mr. Guidry has a vision for this country. “There is tremendous potential in Libya and it just needs to be unlocked – it needs the infrastructure to able to positively improve its trade position,” he states, adding, “And if we can meet our goals then we will help the country and its people towards a safer, more secure economic and social future.”

So, a plan to develop a new port serving the oil and gas industries primarily, before then, in time, handling dry bulks, containers, general and project cargo and ro-ro is certainly a positive step in Libya reconstructing itself and developing economically and socially.

Mr. Guidry has a plan that involves utilising his specialist knowledge of security services and applying it to the port industry by developing “Susah Secure Port.”

The proposed Port of Susah has been planned since 2007 during the Gaddafi era, but conflict and civil war delayed its implementation. However, the project was finally awarded in December 2015 following an international tender to The Guidry Group on a design-build-operate-transfer (DBOT) basis. a 35-year (plus 5-year additional term) sovereign contract was signed with the Ministry of Transportation in Libya in May 2019.

Mr. Guidry outlines the project start-up in more detail. “Susah Secure Port consists of two phases. To begin with, Phase 1 is expected to include an oil and gas terminal, interconnecting to a proposed new pipeline and tank farm, with a quay length of 1,350m consisting of 3 berths of at least 400m each.”

He then explains how the project is expected to develop. “Susah Secure Port will initially support the oil & gas industry, which are the key products that will drive economic development in Libya, with phase two then providing high-quality infrastructure for general cargo, container handling and bulk goods.”

There are two key questions that certainly need to be clarified here. First, the issue of security and second, whether the cargo demand exists in Libya and to support the project.

The first matter is very straight forward. The Guidry Group can successfully show 35 years of security experience, supported by Lloyd Guidry’s extensive capabilities of insurance services gained over more than 30 years across some of the most challenging environments and situation in the world.

On this basis, leveraging The Guidry Group’s security capabilities and ensuring that the port operation is secure is clearly a key component, but it will safely enable the facility to be developed and then used.

Moreover, if products, like oil are part of the equation and which involve the use of new pipelines, then protection of this additional infrastructure also falls within the remit of the security capabilities The Guidry Group offers.

Which leads to the second key factor about whether sufficient cargo demand exists to support the development. Sam Boyd Williams, Associate Director with WSP in London, confirms that the potential and outlook for Susah Secure Port is positive. “Libya’s economy is driven by petroleum, in particular crude oil production. Therefore, oil is the primary market for Libya’s ports and can be the focus of the first phase of Susah,” he states, adding, “The port’s deep water and location put it in a prime position to ship out the crude oil from the Eastern Sirte basin, but it will need a pipeline from the major oil fields.”

The pipeline outlined by Boyd Williams is a key component of the planned infrastructure to be developed, with the flow into Susah from other regions where water depth and port capabilities greatly limit the sizes of vessels that can call. This position is limiting the product flow by ship and increasing the waiting time of vessels wanting to call to existing, congested ports.

It is also possible to get a good understanding of the potential oil activity that could exist, according to Mr. Boyd Williams. “Prior to 2011, Libya was producing between 86.7-95.0 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) of crude oil in the period 2005-2010.

In 2011, production fell to 22.1 mtoe before recovering to 76.2 mtoe in 2012 after which it was in decline again due to the civil war and then decreased further to about 20.8 mtoe by 2016. In recent years production has improved to 46.1 mtoe in 2017 and 53.4 mtoe in 2018.”...

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