By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 1 January 2014:
The General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) has warned that if the supply of gas being pumped through the production facilties at Brega are forcibly closed, it will result in power cuts across eastern Libya, and possibly the whole of the country.
Three days ago, Petroleum Facilities Guards threatened to block the 670-kilometre Brega-Khoms Intisar gas pipeline within two days unless they were paid back wages. The line supplies gas to Tripoli and to the power station at Khoms. However, the Khoms station’s main fuel is oil and the gas pumped through Brega mostly goes to the Zueitina and Benghazi North power stations.
The threatened blockade is seen as an attempt to increase the pressure on the government by the leader of the federalist, self-appointed Political Bureau of Cyrenaica, Ibrahim Jadhran, who has been blockading oil terminals in the east of the country. The blockade has hit state income and damaged the government’s credibility, but with the government and Congress refusing to concede any of his demands, Jadhan has so far been unable to gain any political successes.
He was commander of the Petroleum Facilities Guards in Libya’s central region, which includes Brega, and still has a wide following among those working in the force.
According to GECOL, any interruption to the gas supply at Brega would result in production stopping at Zueitina and Benghazi North, with the loss of 800 MW output, and could “even lead to the collapse of the general electricity network with power cuts to many Libyan regions.
GECOL urged the guards not carry out their threats, adding that it could not be held responsible if they did so and, consequently, there were wide-scale power cuts.