US Contributes to Construction of Bank in Benghazi

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On Wednesday, the newest office of the Libyan Islamic Bank (LIB) opened its doors in Benghazi, Libya. The US-based company, Penetron was tasked with protecting the bank’s below-grade reinforced concrete structures from the nearby coastal lakes of the city, and the Mediterranean sea.

“Because of the area’s marine environment and the high groundwater levels at the construction site, the project’s general contractor requested a robust waterproofing solution for the bank’s below-grade concrete structures,” Kadem A. Elbarghathi, Managing Director of Penetron North Africa explained.

After consulting with Penetron North Africa, the contractor, Dar Elkhabra specified PENETRON ADMIX, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, for the concrete mix to mitigate chloride ion penetration and potential corrosion of the reinforced concrete structures of the below-grade bank safe rooms. PENEBAR SW-45A swellable waterstop strips were also installed to seal all construction joints.

Established in 2017, the Libyan Islamic Bank now has 11 branches across Libya, with the newly-opened branch in Benghazi as part of six new locations scheduled to open in 2022.

The LIB adheres to the practice of Islamic banking laws (Sharia compliant), the most important difference being the prohibition of charging interest on any private or commercial activities. This regulation avoids the potential for usury and “unethical commercial activities” according to the principles of Islamic Sharia law. LIB resorts to a financial model that delivers a predetermined return on investment, to avoid conflict with Islamic regulations.

The newest LIB branch office is located in the Al-Fuwaihat area, the commercial center of Benghazi. It is adjacent to the Al-Pepsi shopping area, a vibrant district of businesses, shops, and markets. The office features a ground-floor retail banking area, two office floors above, and a reinforced concrete basement floor where the high-security bank safe is situated.