By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 1 July 2014:
Indian technicians have not arrived at the Gulf power station in Sirte to . . .[restrict]replace Turkish workers who left recently, the General Electric Company of Libya (GECOL) has said.
There have been media reports that Indian engineers had arrived at the request of GECOL in an attempt to prevent further blackouts on the national grid during Ramadan.
Turkish technicians working at the Sirte power station fled with their countrymen based across eastern Libya a few days ago after Operation Dignity leader Khalifa Hafter ordered Turks and Qataris “from Sirte to Musaid” to quit the country. Hafter’s spokesman Mohamed Hejazi alleged at the time that there were Turkish and Qatari spies in the two communities.
GECOL official Wesam Bin Shaban told the Libya Herald there was no truth to the reports that new workers had arrived. He explained that even if foreign technicians were at the power plant, it was not working and was not connected to the national grid.
“The station is not ready yet and there are still many things to do and systems to install before it can operate,” he said. “We have not yet reached the point where the station can be connected to the national grid although one unit will be linked up in the near future,” he added.
The Gulf power station which comprises four 350-megawatt units was robbed and vandalised earlier this month, resulting in the collapse of two of its pylons.
According to security sources, the thieves, having stolen electricity connectors and copper to sell on the black market, were caught just days after the incident.
In a U-turn yesterday Mohammad Hejazi, the spokesman for the Operation Dignity said last week’s ultimatum to Turks to leave eastern Libya was not intended for all of them, that many had been “too quick” to leave and that they were welcome to return.