By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 4 July 2017:
The Presidency Council (PC)-appointed chief executive of GECOL has blamed excessive electricity consumption for the frequent blackouts that have hit all parts of Libya over the past week.
Ali Mohammed Sassi insisted new generating stations had to be built to deal with the electricity demand. He said plans for new power stations had been delayed since 2011. Existing units also needed to be upgraded he explained in an interview with Libya’s Channel.
Sassi said that energy consumption had increased in an “unprecedented manner” since the 2011 revolution. However, he agreed that Libyans should not have to put up with excuses and it was up to the state and GECOL to address the issues.
Short and medium-term solutions were being looked at said Sassi. These included constructing small, emergency stations.
Such projects were very important considering the current state of affairs but it he insisted that was not up to GECOL to fund them. GECOL merely submitted proposals to the government and it had been pressing the PC to produce the necessary investment.
Theft and the persistent insecurity only hampered GECOL’s work. He claimed the state electricity supplier had suffered LD 1.3 billion in losses due to thieves, who then sold the stolen metals abroad.
The violence plaguing the country meant that engineers had to abandon jobs and be evacuated after which the infrastructure had been further damaged. In the latest such incident, an armed gang today stormed the small power station at Ajilat and took staff hostage. GECOL has not said if the attack has ended.
Initially, southern and western Libya were affected by the last week’s blackouts las temperatures soared countrywide. The east was then hit, though GECOL described this as a temporary problem only lasting six hours.