Left to right: H.E. Ali Al-Rida, Minister of Labour and Rehabilitation, Libya; Aref Boualwan, Chief Initiatives and Startup Officer, Consolidated Contractors Company; Ibraheim Mejerissi, Managing Director, Wazen Oil Services; Mohamed Mahjoub, GM of HR, Ministry of Oil and Gas; Adel Omrani, Services CEO for GE Gas Power MENA; Jamal Al-Lamoushi, Chairman, Privatization and Investment Board; and Rebecca Murray, Journalist, Al Jazeera.
A panel featuring representatives from the National Oil Corporation of Libya and the Libyan Petroleum Institute, as well as representatives from Libyan petroleum operating and service companies, gathered in Tripoli during day two of the Libya Energy & Economic Summit 2021 to discuss important issues facing Libya’s energy sector and how sectoral revitalization may serve as a catalyst for broader economic growth.
Moderated by Rebecca Murray, a journalist from Al Jazeera, the panel discussion examined investment conditions within the oil and gas sectors, with a primary focus on job creation, capacity building, and how the industry may better serve the needs of the Libyan people.
“Infrastructure projects within the energy sector are engines for job growth, they create direct and indirect jobs. Building a power plant, for example, yields approximately 2,000 jobs and will create 100 permanent jobs,” stated Adel Omrani, Services CEO for GE Gas Power MENA, adding that, “We at General Electric are committed as a company to making sure our workforce is actually localized.”
Key talking points during the panel discussion included which kinds of projects carry the most potential in training a local workforce and what is needed to facilitate and overcome relevant opportunities and challenges.
“We need to look at the contractors to open up the dialogue to see the capacity we need to build to ensure that all aspects of the supply chain are covered,” suggested Ibraheim Mejerissi, Managing Director for new generation oil-services company, Wazen Oil Services. “Within the local community’s reaction to large-scale investment, the key point is opportunity. There needs to be a clear roadmap for opportunities that arise from these large-scale infrastructure projects, and the chance of opportunity for local communities needs to be clearly defined.”
With regards to opportunities for public-private collaboration and the facilitation of a knowledge and experience transition, it was noted during the panel discussion that international contractors with Libyan experience must focus on upscaling and reskilling the local workforce.
Chief Initiatives and Startup Officer for the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), Aref Boualwan, noted several key dimensions to assist in job creation and capacity building, “First and foremost, we have to focus on upscaling – we will need to reskill – not only in job creation, but in supporting and empowering local subcontractors to upgrade their services to better serve the society. We will need to empower the local supply chain by bringing in international partners to train local companies on their offering. And finally, we must focus on Libyan innovation and startups.”
With focus being placed on the global energy transition, it was noted during the discussion that Libya has the potential to redirect investment towards renewables, while facilitating a platform through which a new generation of locally trained workers may be better positioned to benefit from Libya’s energy industry.