Donnerstag, 22. November 2012

Libyan Railways and Intergeo´s bankruptcy

What a nice train ! It started in the nowhere of Tripoli and lead into nowhere. Fabricated by the Italian Finemccanica group´s company "Ansaldo". It was actually a present from Ansaldo to Libya. Well kind of - actually it was handed over to Muammar Gadaffi around the 40th anniversary of the revolution. Well, and as there were no rail tracks at that moment, Ansaldo also build about 1.000 meters of them. Italy´president, Silvio Berlusconi handed over the train to his friend Muammar Gadaffi and together they inaugurated the masterpiece of italian civil engineering.
At the same time a tender was opened fo the delivery of rolling stock (trains & wagons) for Libya´s new railway that should start at the Tunisian border and run all the way to Egypt. A special line was also leading to Sebha.
Too bad that Ansaldo did not comply with the specifications set forth in the tender. The technicians at Libyan Railroads did not know what to do: The whole railway industry had its focus on Libya, as it had at that moment the biggest railroad project in the world. And they were all very curious how Libya would solve the project, because the leader wanted by any means the Italian train. Even though it did not meet the tender criteria. And even though it had a different track size than the one built by the Chinese and Russian general contractors.
However, whenever I met an Italian diplomat, they were smashing it into my face: "The train is ours!"
Luckily for the employees of Libyan Railroads the revolution came...

The railway project did not end that luckily for some other companies. The Austrian company "Intergeo", for instance,  had to file for bankruptcy earlier this week: The company entered Libya in 2010, providing engineering works for the Russian part of the railway project, with its headquarters at Ras Lanuf. Unfortunately they did not receive a single cent for their works in Libya so far. The company said the outstanding debt amounted to approximately 1 Mio Euros.
12 employees and about 80 creditors are affected by the liquidation of the company. If you know german, you can read up the whole article here:


  1. In Ainzara there is a section that was being developed for the railway... it looks like a huge gash in the earth where the tracks were supposed to be at the bottom. Nowadays people are just using it as a place to dump their trash and in some places it looks as though chemicals have been dumped there too. Such a shame and a waste of Libya's money.

  2. Thanks for this very informative post. I have a friend who is also from Libya and that project will surely benefit small people like him. I hope this issue will be cleared and the railway project will push through.

  3. Fun fact is, that this train was actually build for "the danish railroad" company, but Berlusconi claimed it, and the danish people payed for this train, and Berlusconi and the Italy's DID NOT pay for this at all!

  4. Too bad I found this article before filing my story. Anyhow, I ll post it below for the record: