Turkey to supply power station to Tobruk

Turkey is to supply the Abdullah Thinni government and the House of Representatives, the only internationally recognized political bodies in Libya, with a floating power station, resume Turkish Airlines flights to Labraq and recommence its stalled projects in the east.

If reports carried by Al-Wasat are accurate, this could mark a major turn in Turkey’s relations with the two contending governments in Libya, having previously enjoyed good relations with the GNC/Libya Dawn antigovernment of Tripoli. The claims come from the Chairman of the Emergency and Crises Committee for eastern Libya, Idris Treki.

Treki said that the Turkish authorities had agreed to supply and install a floating power station in Tobruk with a production capacity of up to 250 MW.

He went on to add that his visit to Turkey had been aimed at discussing the establishment of the power station and that during his visit he had met with the Black Sea Holdings Company representatives, a company specializing in the generation and production of electrical power.

Furthermore, Treki had also claimed that he had met the personal envoy of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Black Sea Holdings Company had requested security and financial guarantees, as well as the timeframe for installing the plant, Treki said, adding that it would normally takes 6-12 months for such a project, but that there was a possibility the plant could be completed in only three months.

A team of engineers and technicians from the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) would be arriving in Tobruk over the next few days to study the depth at which the floating power plant would be set, added Treki.

It will be recalled that the Libyan state electricity company, GECOL, had had a contract in place to supply emergency power by US firm APR Energy.

APR Energy had installed a total of 450 megawatts of emergency generators at six sites, in what remains the largest ever single contract of its kind in the world.

Initially, APR Energy had begun its Libyan engagement by supplying 200 megawatts of emergency power. However, as GECOL struggled to cope with surging power demand and failing power plants, a further 250 megawatts of generating capacity was ordered and began to arrive in June 2013.

In November last year, however, APR Energy had to suspend its emergency power generation operations in Libya because of contractual issues and payment delays.

The impact of the APR Energy shut-down will no doubt have had a major negative impact on electricity generation in Libya, as the fighting in Benghazi and in western Libya has continued to damage electricity infrastructure.

There have been continuous and lengthy power cuts in both western and eastern Libya. The latest attempts by the Thinni government to find alternative suppliers of power generation in Turkey no doubt arise from this continuing power generation deficit that has existed since 2011.

Libya Herald staff