Libya: GFH buys into Libya’s Energy City
Libya has Africa’s largest oil reserves but last year it was only the continent’s third-biggest producer. So the decision of Bahraini Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House to invest $400 million of initial equity into an energy infrastructure project there is understandable. This is especially so given that the bank says it will not be surprised if the Libyan government’s Economic and Social Fund, which is advising on the project, makes a similar sized equity injection. Libya’s National Oil Company is seeking to increase oil production by 1 million barrels a day in the next four years, while doubling the country’s gas capacity.
"Western companies [in the energy sector] want to do business with Libya but they don’t know how," says Jinesh Patel, senior executive director at Gulf Finance House.
Patel hopes Energy City Libya will help companies like this: those, for example, in the services and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, or other energy companies that are too small or too new to Libya to have their own premises. The bank has hired Qatari architects and engineering consultants MZ and Partners to help it develop the plans and implement the basic infrastructure for the new Energy City.