September 27, 2020

Egypt participates in UN and Arab League’s meeting to solve Libya’s electricity crisis

Egypt participates in UN and Arab League's meeting to solve Libya's electricity crisis

Libyans celebrate after the Supreme Court invalidated the country’s parliament, at Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

CAIRO – 27 September 2020: Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya Stephanie Williams,  new Head of the EU delegation in Libya José Sabadell (in his capacity as the rotating chair of the economic working group established within the framework of the Berlin conference), and the representative of the League of Arab States and the African Union and a diplomatic representative of Egypt held a meeting with the new administration of the General Electricity Company in Libya.


The meeting targeted discussing ways to address the deterioration of the electricity crisis in light of the Libyan efforts to reopen the energy sector.The statement of the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) pointed out that the Libyans suffer in all parts of the country from severe power cuts, amounting to more than 16 hours a day.


Vice-Chairman of the General Electricity Company, Abdul Salam al-Ansari, presented the company’s vision to address the current deficit of 3000 megawatts.


Ansari noted that the procedures for implementing maintenance operations for electrical networks are becoming more complex due to the difficulty of implementing an effective schedule for the distribution of loads.


Moreparticularly, he referred to the damage caused to the operating room of the General Electricity Company and the inappropriateness of one of the main transmission lines, which caused power outages in the capital.


Ansari explained that the General Electricity Company’s revenue streams from collecting fees are almost non-existent, so the level of service must improve if the company wants to continue its work.


The meeting with the General Electricity Company’s management was attended by more than forty members of the diplomatic corps in Libya, including representatives from Egypt, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Arab League and the African Union.


Several Libyan economic experts also participated in the Libyan economic dialogue, providing advice and suggestions on how to implement structural reforms.


The participants in the economic working group expressed their fear of the deteriorating situation and expressed their commitment to support the General Electricity Company in its handling of these situations.


Early September, dozens of Libyans protested in Benghazi over power cuts and living conditions, witnesses said, burning tires and blocking some roads in an unusually public show of dissent in the eastern Libyan city.


Electricity supply has deteriorated this year, leading to protests in September in Tripoli and adding to poor living standards amid a surge in cases of the novel coronavirus.


The most immediate cause of the worsening power supply is a lack of fuel for electricity plants.


Civil war broke out in Libya after the toppling of long-time ruler Muammer Gaddafi in 2011, who was later killed. Numerous militias are fighting for power and influence in the country, with Tripoli-allied militias backed by Turkey, Qatar and Italy. Meanwhile, eastern-based military commander KhalifaHaftar’s Libyan National Army is backed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, France and Russia.


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