By Adam Nathan.
The British Ambassador to Libya, Peter Millet, has helped to seal a deal with a UK company to supply 70MW of energy to the south of Libya.
The deal means that electricity outages in the south of Libya may become less frequent, heading off a political crisis. The shortages had caused anger in Libya’s southern region with local tribal leaders vowing to take ‘escalatory measures’ if the Government of National Accord (GNA) failed to solve the region’s crises by March.
Millet read out a press statement from the Glasgow-based energy company Aggreko at the end of the Libyan Reconstruction & Investment Forum in London, which his team at the embassy had helped to create.
“Following the Libyan construction and investment forum, GECOL and Agrekko, a leading global supplier of mobile and modular power services, have begun the process of restarting a 70 MW facility in south of country. We look forward to ongoing cooperation.”
According to UK government trade sources, the Agrekko plant in Hun in the south of Libya had been switched off as the company were requesting a $5-million payment from the General Electric Company of Libya (GECOL) to switch it back on again.
Prior to the Ambassador’s announcement a UK government trade source, informed Libya Business News that “the government of Libya has been reluctant to pay for the turning on of the power supply but power shortages over the past few weeks have created a power crisis and they are thinking about making a payment. Aggreko power would help limit the current power crisis and we are pushing for it to be turned back on.”
It is understood that talks behind the scenes at the conference between the Libyan government and Agrekko, mediated by Ambassador Millet and his trade team, were crucial in settling the debt issue and the announcement that the plant would be switched back on to the benefit of the south of Libya.
Millet also announced that he was looking to “upgrade and increase the frequency” of embassy visits to Tripoli and that this would lead to a dedicated visa application centre being opened in 2017.
“This shows that stability, security and prosperity are returning to Libya,” said Millet. “Companies seeking to renew or establish new relationships with Libyan companies, please don’t hesitate to come to us.”
Adam Nathan can be contacted at [email protected] and +44 7900 783662.