Hyflux Libyan desalination contracts could be delayed

Singapore-based desalination contractor Hyflux said on 23 February 2011 that its projects in Libya could be delayed due to the political uncertainty in the country, according to Reuters.

Hyflux was due to start work shortly on a 40,000 m³/d seawater reverse-osmosis facility under a US$ 100 million engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded in November 2010 by the General People’s Committee for Utilities (the Ministry of Utilities in Libya). It was also in negotiations on two projects in Benghazi and Tripoli.

However, the firm said its two seawater desalination projects in Algeria have not been affected by the demonstrations there and are progressing as scheduled. It also said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, which contributes 60% to the group’s revenue, remains a key market.

“Notwithstanding the prevailing risks involved in investing in MENA countries, they remain long-term compelling markets for us given the vast opportunities for wastewater recycling and seawater desalination solutions,” said Hyflux CEO Olivia Lum in a statement.

Other companies with interests in Libya include Hitachi, which signed a membrane bioreactor marketing deal last year with a local contractor, and Italian energy giant Eni, which was to build a desalination plant as part of a development in El Agheil.