By Ashraf Abdul Wahab and Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 4 October 2013:
In an effort to deter thieves who have been cutting electricity lines . . .[restrict]in order to steal the copper cable and sell it, the electricity company GECOL says it plans to replace copper with a cheaper aluminium alternative in the hope of ending the thefts. Aluminium is highly conductive and is used in much household wiring, although it is not a conductive as copper.
Tripoli has again been beset by long electricity blackouts. The thefts are said by GECOL to be one of the reasons for the blackouts. Just this week cables at the substation at Tajoura were taken, forcing it to shut down. Disruption of the gas supply has also played a part; south Tripoli power station is gas powered.
The situation has been further complicated by the fact that GECOL engineers have been reluctant to go to head out and repair electricity lines following numerous attacks on them and thefts of their vehicles.
GECOL has meanwhile announced that it will be carrying out major maintenance and upgrading work on turbine units at south Tripoli and Zawia power stations. Works are also being carried out on Khoms, Zueitina and north Benghazi power stations until 25 November. GECOL says that when completed, they should go some way to meeting electricity demand and ensuring supply stability. [/restrict]