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    Libya Lays Foundation for 164-MW Gas Plant


Libya is fast-tracking several gas-fired power projects to overcome crippling electricity shortages.

by: Joe Murphy

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Libya Lays Foundation for 164-MW Gas Plant

The state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol) has begun construction of a 164-MW gas-fired power station in the northwest city of Zilten, it said on January 24.

The plant consists of four, 41-MW turbines, and is expected to take five months to complete at a cost of $134mn, according to Gecol. All necessary contracts are in place, the operator said, without disclosing details.

The government in civil war-torn Libya is developing several new gas-fired plants to overcome crippling electricity shortages. Turkish contractor Enka revealed earlier this month it had secured a contract with Germany's Siemens to build a 650-MW simple-cycle gas plant in the western port city of Misrata and a 671-MW simple-cycle station in the capital Tripoli. These projects will be fast-tracked and reach completion in 2022.

The new plants are all in areas held by the UN-backed Government of National Accord, based in Tripoli. Much of the south and east of the country is controlled by the Libyan National Army headed by Khalifa Haftar. The two factions reached a ceasefire agreement last October which has so far held.

While Libya has a lack of generation capacity, its existing power plants are also not receiving enough gas to run at their full capability. Significant oil and gas production has been restored since the ceasefire deal was reached, but inadequate supplies to Gecol persist.