By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 6 November 2016:
In a notable snub to the Presidency Council, deputy chairman Ahmed Maetig was turned away from the reopening of Khoms power station today while Rixos plot leader Khalifa Ghwell, took part in the ceremony.
It is unclear if Maetig and his party, which apparently included newly-appointed senior GECOL managers, actually arrived in Khoms and were then told to go away.
The humiliation for the UNSMIL-backed Presidency Council was the greater because of the VIPs who did attend. Ghwell, once prime minister of Libya Dawn’s self-styled Government of National Salvation, received a warm welcome. Alongside him at the reopening of the gas turbine was LISCO chairman Mohamed Abdul Malik Elfighi, along with other senior Misratan figures, community leaders from Emsalata to the south of the town and members of the Islamist-leaning Khoms military council.
Maetig’s snub may be all the more telling if this now leads to a major boost to electricity generation. When the gas turbines reach their design capacity of 500 megawatts, it is being said within 40 days, Tripoli will receive much of the power supply. That achievement if it happens – the first turbine started today will generate 262 megawatts – is likely to be claimed by Ghwell. He will say that he has been able to fix one of the chronic problems that have consistently stumped Faiez Serraj and the PC.
Last December Khoms power station was knocked out in fighting between the town’s military council and a local family during which at least nine people died. The oil tanks on the dual fuel station were set alight and part of the turbine hall damaged. The work to bring this gas turbine on line has been done by Turkish firm Çalik Energi.
This article has been updated to name the Turkish contractor