By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 3 December 2013:
The unexpected cold snap has coincided with the removal of 1,400 megawatts of generating capacity . . .[restrict]for overdue maintenance, the deputy minister of Electricity told the Libya Herald this evening.
This, coming on top of the blockades of gas and oil pipelines, has meant that the west of the country is once again suffering regular power cuts, as the power company GECOL struggles to meet a surge in demand, when customers turn on power-hungry heaters.
Deputy Electricity Minister Mohammed Ali Ekhlat told this newspaper that while the blockade of the pipelines was definitely contributing to the shortages, a number of generating sets was also offline for servicing.
“We were late with the maintenance because of the security situation. We should have done the work before,” he said, adding that GECOL had not been expecting that the weather would suddenly turn so cold.
Earlier today the Electricity Ministry spokesman Wesam Bin Shaaban had not mentioned the delayed maintenance programme, when he told this paper that the power cuts were being caused by Amazigh and Tebu blockades.
He also denied that the government had published details of when power cuts could be expected and how long they were likely to last. [/restrict]