Libya Cooperates with Siemens to Resolve Electricity Crisis

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The Libyan General Electricity Company (GECOL) announced that it has dispatched technicians from Siemens for the annual maintenance of several power plants.

Siemens technicians will carry out major maintenance work on three of the production units of the Sarir plant, two of the Benghazi North plant and one of the Zueitina plant. Maintenance work will also be carried out at the Tripoli South, Zawia, Khoms and Western Mountain power plants.

The GECOL said the arrival of the team was obtained “after intense efforts and laborious negotiations.”

The announcement of these maintenance works should ease power shortages and relieve the Libyan population. Indeed, parts of the capital Tripoli have been without electricity for four consecutive days during the past week. During the month of September, other localities were deprived of electricity for an average of 18 hours a day. Waves of power cuts have caused protest movements throughout Libya, most repressed by the police.

On 14 September, the Prime Minister of the Interim Government, Abdullah Al-Thinni submitted his resignation to the Parliament Speaker, Ageela Saleh, after large-scale demonstrations. Protesters took to the streets to express their anger on the permanent power cuts, fuel shortages and the high cost of living.

Libya once had a strong electricity network. But years of chaos and fighting since the 2011 revolution and the fall of Muammar Gaddafi have wrecked infrastructure and weakened state institutions.

The national Audit Bureau said Libya has lost 2,700 megawatts out of its original 3,363MW and that state power company GECOL spent 1.6 billion dinars last year on the electricity sector, without much progress to show for with dozens of stalled projects.