Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2014 -- Following a 79.0% contraction in real industry value in 2011, we believed that 2013 would be the earliest the construction industry would experience a recovery. The sector saw the beginnings of rehabilitation in 2012, with 3.9% year-on-year real growth witnessed; however, 2013 looks set to impress, with the industry set to experience 25.0% growth over the year as a whole, followed by a 27.0% expansion over 2014. While strong, this is by no means spectacular, given the context; with the ongoing violence and the lack of a strong political mandate in government, we believe more serious reconstruction will take time to filter through. Consequently, we are not forecasting reconstruction to generate one boom year of growth, but rather strong, albeit gradually slowing, growth over the medium term, with double-digit growth expected each year until 2018.
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Factors underlining our outlook for Libyan infrastructure:
- A weakening central government threatens our outlook for the construction sector, due to a lack of private sector investment outside the oil sector. Growing opposition and violence in east Libya against the Tripoli-based government is affecting unity in the country. In this political climate, oil output will underperform Libya's total production potential going into 2014, and the country will likely produce below its production capacity thereafter. The central government lacks options to appease demand in the east for a fairer distribution of oil wealth, with obvious downside for the construction sector.
- The Housing & Infrastructure Board (HIB) has been tasked to deliver 200,000 new homes, with supporting infrastructure, over the next few years. It is thought that the HIB will restart the region's largest housing project, with an estimated US$100bn cost, by end-2013.
- Aecom has returned to Libya and has announced that after cancelling many Gaddafi-era contracts, around 300 projects still need to be reactivated. Combined, they have a price tag of US$30bn. It is also hoped that Aecom will establish a procurement process, which will make future project awards much less susceptible to the corruption charges placed on many previously awarded contracts.
- Salini and Impregilo, which have merged in order to win more international contracts, have been awarded the contract to build a 400km stretch of the Libyan coastal highway. The road is a vital artery connecting the major population centres in the country and part of the Trans-Africa Highway. The road was of strategic importance for both sides in the civil war and will be extremely important in the development of Libya's economy.
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