bakBy Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 7 October 2017:
Benghazi drivers have been hit by fuel shortages for the past three days because drivers of private fuel trucks have been on strike. Because of the liquidity crisis and the difficulty of getting money out of the banks, they are demanding to be paid in cash to take the petrol from Tobruk port and the refinery there to Benghazi. However, Brega Oil and Gas Marketing Company says it can only pay by bank transfer, with the result that the drivers have stopped work and petrol stations have closed.
Yesterday, Brega spokesman Adel Ben Dardaf said that negotiations were taking place to end the strike. However, the situation may be alleviated as of tomorrow with the arrival in Benghazi’s port of a fuel tanker from Tobruk. The Anwar Libya is due to arrive at the oil pier at Benghazi’s Juliana harbour with 13.5 million litres of petrol. A second tanker is to deliver 40 million litres.
Prior to the fighting in Benghazi, petrol was usually delivered by sea to the pier and from there to the storage depot at Ras Al-Mungar in north Benghazi. But the conflict meant that it has had to come by road from Tobruk refinery or Tobruk port.
As well as producing petrol, Libya also imports it, and Tobruk is the nearest suitable port for imports.
Maintenance staff are said to have been working round the clock to bring back the oil pier into service and it was announced yesterday that it was finally ready.
This should end the shortage, although it remains to be seen if the truck drivers now try to blockade the port.
On a brighter note, the water shortages suffered by Benghazi for the past four days are ending. They occurred because of an explosion at a major pipeline in Leithi district connecting with main water treatment plant south of Benghazi with the city. The damage has now been repaired with the result that water has been gradually returning to all the city’s neighbourhoods