"The plan is for them to take that knowledge back and apply that into sustainable environmental solutions and transportation and other infrastructure and housing improvements back home." Ed: "Will we be able to visibly see the difference in the country once these projects are completed?" "Oh, absolutely, absolutely. I mean the, yeah, the, once we are able to kick-start these programs, these project and get them going, and get them going in a, in a truly aggressive style, I think you're going to see, I know you're going to see a tremendous change in the landscape over there. Just almost every aspect of life--the quality itself--will be improved."
Thompson says his global engineering and construction firm has a contract worth up to $574 million over a five-year period for program management and infrastructure design for Libyan cities. Interaction with major American corporations is a major turnaround for a nation once considered a rogue in the international community.
"I've experienced nothing but a very welcoming environment, a very friendly environment, very open, very transparent. I can't report, really, one bad thing about any of the relationships or developments that we've had while being over there. And we've been working over there now for almost a year, AECOM has, throughout the country, based in Tripoli. And it's all been very supportive and very inviting. Ed: "What's the timetable for the next leg of what you're going to be doing there?" "The, well the timetable is immediate. The program itself over in Libya, just to give it a scale, is a $50 billion-plus capital program, in Libya over the course of the next ten years."
Thompson expects other American companies will join AECOM in helping rebuild Libya.
Ed Mayberry, KUHF- Houston Public Radio News.