As extreme temperatures cause longer power cuts, Aldabaiba and GECOL head come under pressure
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 29 June 2021:
With summer temperatures rising to the late 30’s and 40’s across Libya over the last two weeks, demand for electricity to operate air conditions has sky-rocketed – in tandem with lengthening power cuts.
The increased power cuts has led to increased criticism of Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba and the chairman of the state General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), Wiam Al-Abdali.
And as the Prime Minister posed before the newly arrived former Qaddafi Presidential plane and posed with world leaders in Berlin, London and Rabat (Morocco), many Libyans used social media to vent their anger with Aldabaiba. This came in the form of abuse and various memes related to power cuts and high temperatures.
Aldabaiba, it will be recalled, had vowed to resolve the power cuts crisis upon taking up office. He therefore, upon his return from Rabat, called for an urgent meeting with Al-Abdali and the GECOL leadership. A clip of his meeting was released showing him warning GECOL that while he will support them he expected them to keep to their promise to reduce power cuts.
He said he would not be abused by the public for them.
In response, Al-Abdali took to the airwaves in at least two prominent presentations setting out GECOL’s view of the current electricity situation.
Here is a summary of his presentations:
- The network is currently producing 5,200 megawatts, and we have reached consumption of 8,125 megawatts for the first time ever.
- We have never had two successive weeks of such high temperatures. The situation will improve next week, with a decrease in the temperature, and we have succeeded in controlling the network during the heat wave compared to last year.
- An additional 2,000 megawatts will enter the network at the end of this year and early next year.
- We told the Koreans to either return to complete the projects or cancel their contracts.
- We are negotiating with 4 companies for sites in Zliten, Derna and Tripoli West for networks with a capacity of 5,000 megawatts, and if we were able to do so, we would say goodbye to load sharing.
- We negotiate with companies; To localize solar energy in Ghadames, Kufra, Houn and Rabyana in cooperation with Eni, and it is the first building block for solar energy projects in Libya.
- The citizen does not want to pay what he owes, and he wants high-quality electrical services.
- Ubari station is 100% ready to be connected to the network after the arrival of spare parts.