Italy has opened tendering for building a section of coastal highway linking the east and west of Libya, reports Italian news agency Nova.
According to Nova, the time to apply for the tendering will expire at the end of January 2023, barring extensions.
Nova specified that this section of the highway, in particular, is about 400 kilometers of road that should start from Misrata and reach the border crossing at Ras Jedir, on the border with Tunisia.
The Italian news agency described the project as “crucial and strategic” with an “approximate estimated value of over 1 billion Euros”.
The infrastructure project had been broadly agreed upon in the famous treaty of friendship, partnership and cooperation signed by Italy and Libya in Benghazi on 30 August 2008. In article 8, paragraph 1, of the aforementioned treaty, Italy will “find the financial funds necessary for the realization of basic infrastructure projects that are agreed between the two countries within the limits of the sum of 5 billion US dollars”.
The goal of the project to build a highway that will follow the route of the road Libyan coast that stretches for over 1,800 kilometers, between Ras Jedir (on the border with Tunisia) and Musaid (on the border with Egypt).
The project is so large that it was unpacked into four sections starting from the east (lot 1) to the west (lot 4) for reasons of simplification. Following the first Libyan civil war in 2011, the project was put on hold due to internal Libyan political instability and doubts regarding the safety of the work, according to Nova.
On November 8, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has alluded that the project will kick-off, telling Italian radio station RTL 102.5 that he hopes the launch of the project at this time would “bring the warring parties closer together”.