By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 10 October 2015:
Tripoli and surrounding areas are again suffering power outages because of a rupture in the . . .[restrict]gas supply to Zawia power station. However, an engineer from Sirte Gas & Oil, the company in charge of maintaining gas pipes feeding the plant, announced yesterday, Friday, that the problem would be solved “soon, in a few hours”.
However, cuts up to 14 hours long, were still affecting Tripoli as of this report, early Saturday morning.
In a statement published on Thursday, the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), said that the outages came as a result of “unexpected cut of gas supplies to the power plant in the western region, which pushed the company to suspend some generators in order to protect the site from total collapse”.
It said that Tripoli could expect the cuts to endure “in the coming days for long hours”.
The pipeline was cut south of Zawia, according to GECOL as a result of an accident when a farmer was removing some sand near his farm. However, it has also been suggested it was cut by thieves wanting the metal while there are also reports that it was done deliberately to increase problems in the capital.
Earlier on Friday, and before being threatened by the powerful Halbous brigade, a group of Zawia militia were said to have prevented pipeline maintenance workers from accessing the damaged area.
Power outages have been chronic since the revolution, with the lack of security, strikes, theft of cables and the politically-motivated sabotage of installations causing severe cuts in a power supplies that were already insufficient to meet demand.
Two months ago, Khalifa Ghwell, the head of Tripoli-based government, promised to tackle the outage problem that “affects ordinary people, within days.” Struggling with power outages in the capital and the west of country, that were lasting up to 18 hours a day, the Tripoli government in August announced that it would import electricity from Egypt and Tunisia and rent generators to ease blackouts.
Since then, the problem has eased slightly. [/restrict]