By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 March 2021:
Power cuts will be within five hours during the peak demand period this summer, General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) chairman Wiam Al-Abdali said yesterday.
The revelation came during an expanded meeting yesterday with new Government of National Unity (GNU) prime minister, Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, Central Bank of Libya Governor Saddek El-Kaber as well as GNU Ministers of Finance, Planning and Communications.
The GNU Media Department reported that the meeting was held specifically to discuss the power cut crises.
It reported that during the meeting held at GECOL’s headquarters, the short and long-term practical technical plan to end the power outage in addition to the full support mechanism by the GNU for the company to contain the power outage crisis was discussed.
Prime Minister Aldabaiba also affirmed his keenness to overcome difficulties and provide all support required to deal with the crisis, with the need for intensification and effectiveness in performance, in order to quickly end the suffering of citizens.
For his part, GECOL chairman Al-Abdali explained that there is a proposed action plan to provide about 1200 to 1500 MW of additional power, indicating that the number of hours of load sharing (targeted time-specific power cuts) is expected to be within five hours, during the summer peak. He stressed that there will be no need to impose load sharing next summer if the company is able to provide another 1500 MW.
The political sensitivity of power cuts
It will be recalled that Aldabaiba has promised to resolve the power cut problem within his nine-month term. Failure to do so could bring the optimistic honeymoon period he is currently enjoying to an abrupt end.
It will also be recalled that the outgoing internationally recognized Faiez Serraj administration was nearly toppled through public demonstrations last August after extended power cuts and blackouts.
Similar demonstrations occurred in eastern Libya where the Abdalla Thinni government offered to resign after demonstrators were also shot at.
The ability of administrations to resolve the power cut crisis is becoming the political litmus test by which the general Libyan public is judging their governments. It has become the public service seen as the indicator of the efficiency of their governments.