Bosnian firm clinches $52mn Libya deal

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Bosnia's largest engineering group Energoinvest has clinched a new $52 million deal with Libya to build power transmission lines and a transformer station, general manager Dzemail Vlahovljak said on Wednesday.

Vlahovljak said Energoinvest has now secured projects amounting to over 120 million euros ($172.7 million) in Libya and projects worth some 60 million euros in Algiers, its traditional markets from before the 1992-95 war.

"These contracts provide security and stability to our operation, which was hurt this year by the global political situation, particularly in Algiers," Vlahovljak told an annual news conference.

He said that Energoinvest results were influenced by US dollar weakness and rising oil prices.

Energoinvest's preliminary results for 2007 showed revenues of 319.5 million Bosnian marka ($235.3 million) and profits of 2.7 million marka, compared with 2006 revenues of 306.1 million marka and profits of 2.5 million marka.

It aims to more than double profits next year and increase revenues to 384.1 million marka, said finance director Dzevad Ganic.

The company is among Bosnia's top five exporters and exports account for half its revenues. Energoinvest had annual turnover of about $2.5 billion before the war, during which it was heavily damaged.

It has recovered and stabilised in recent years, and regained its pre-war markets in Africa and Asia.

Energoinvest plans to expand to the Middle East next year by forming a joint venture with partners in Saudi Arabia, said Vlahovljak's deputy Abdulharis Seta.

The government of the Muslim-Croat federation, which makes up Bosnia together with the Serb Republic, scrapped its plans to privatise Energoinvest earlier this year, saying it was a strategic company.

Vlahovljak said Energoinvest should now play a bigger role in government plans to construct hydro- and thermo-power plants over the next years.

"If we are building hydro-electric plants in Pakistan, Libya, Algiers, isn't it normal that we do such projects in our country," he said, adding Energoinvest had been an engineering giant in the former Yugoslavia. (Reuters)

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