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Libyans celebrate end of chronic power cuts as electricity supply Stabilizes

Une rue déserte à Tripoli, en Libye, mardi 15 août 2023.   -  
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Yousef Murad/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


After years of chronic power cuts, Libyans are now enjoying a stable electricity supply in the capital, Tripoli, during the summer. The city's public spaces are once again illuminated at night, marking a significant improvement for residents.

To compensate for recurrent power cuts, many have invested in batteries to power basic appliances.

The more affluent have bought powerful but noisy, polluting and diesel-guzzling generators, which can cost several thousand euros.

"If the electrical current is Reliable, then services will definitely be excellent. There won't be any additional costs for generators or production services, and prices will be stable. Therefore, economic returns are strongly affected by the electricity company's Consistency," explained Mohamad Rahoumi, spokesperson for a well-known pastry brand.

The General Electricity Company resorted to lengthy load shedding during peak seasons over the past decade.

Until last year, power cuts could last 20 hours at a time in the capital, an unbearable situation without air conditioning when temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius, particularly for business owners.

"Before, we used to suffer a lot (with the power cuts) as we couldn't just sell customers spoilt meat. But now, things are much better, customers buy fresh and clean meat and there's always air conditioning," rejoiced Mohammed al-Maghribi, butcher.

"There's a significant and clear improvement from previous years in the electric network. Yet, there are still some issues related to strengthening the electrical grid, among other minor things. But thank God, there's such an improvement in comparison with past years," confirmed Lotfi Ahmad Aziz, Libyan citizen.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has struggled with constant power shortages due to a damaged electrical network resulting from armed conflicts and looting.

In July 2022, with new management at Gecol and a restructuring plan, coupled with a relative calm after years of war, electricity supplies have greatly improved. This positive development has also encouraged foreign companies to resume projects that had been stalled for years.