Construction machinery and equipment abandoned on Libyan construction sites by Turkish contractors forced to flee during the current fighting is estimated to be worth $1bn, according to the Turkish Contractors Association (TCA).

“Presently, Turkish contractors have undertaken nearly 360 on-going projects with a total value of $18bn,” said secretary general of the TCA Haluk Buyukbas in an interview with MEED. “The value of machinery and equipment on the construction sites is approximately $1bn. Liabilities arising from guarantee letters, bonds and credit payments also represent additional financial burden,” he said.

Buyukbas was interviewed for MEED’s forthcoming supplement on Turkey. The report shows that Libya’s dominance as an international contracting market has slipped since Turkish firms began operating in the country in 1971, with Russia and Saudi Arabia becoming increasingly important. However, it still accounts for 15 per cent of total international business of Turkish contractors, who have delivered projects worth $26.4bn between 1972 and 2010.

One of the Turkish companies hardest hit by the current instability is Gama Energy, part of the Gama Group. In Libya, it had been delivering the $1.46bn, 1,400MW Al-Khaleej steam power plant in Tripoli for Gecol with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and Hyundai Engineering & Construction. In February, it announced it was evacuating 947 personal and a further 52 subcontractor staff from Libya.

Other Turkish companies with projects on hold in Libya are Tekfen, Enka, Dogus, Mapa, STFA and TML.