By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 4 January 2014:
Petroleum Facilities Guards based in Nalut have blocked an oil pipeline from the Wafa field to . . .[restrict]Mellitah, claiming that they have not been paid since last March and that all they have received from the government are their uniforms.
The gas pipeline from the Wafa field to the Mellitah gas processing plant was closed for some weeks by protesting Amazigh demanding a greater say in the drafting of the constitution. However the deputy head of Nalut local council Abdallah Solaiman told the Libya Herald that Amaazigh were not involved in this blockade.
“We are still negotiating with the protestors” he said, adding that the guards had themselves been negotiating with Tripoli for more than four months. “All they received were promises”.
One of the protestors , Osama Lalah, speaking to this newspaper, said that they had shut the oil pipeline because they had not received their salaries since they were posted to Nalut ten months ago. “We have not seen anything from the government except the uniforms we wear” claimed Lalah, who said he was from the PFG’s Fourth Support Brigade. He said that there were 37 men in his unit and they were ready to reopen the line, just as soon as they were paid.
Solaiman said: “We demand the government explain its huge budgets if they are not able to pay staff salaries. We also demand that the protestors reopen the pipeline, in the public interest”.
The Amazigh blockade of the gas pipeline, which also runs through Nalut, crippled electricity production at the Ruwais power station, which was forced to shut down its four gas turbines and rely on diesel sets. However Alhadi Bu-Sin has told the Libya Herald that Ruwais was now producing 600MW of electricity from its four gas turbines while two were still under maintenance.