Libya has embarked on an ambitious course to build an extensive rail system that will offer both passenger and freight service. The major east-west route will parallel the coast, ultimately stretching 2,300 km from Ras Ejder on the border of Tunisia to Umm Sa’ad on the border of Egypt. Separate contracts have been awarded to Russian and Chinese contractors to complete certain segments. Since 2008 RZD (Russian State Railway) crews have been building a 554-kilometer Surt-to-Benghazi segment, which involves four major stations and 24 minor stations. The project is expected to take four years at a cost of $3 billion.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.