Libya currently experiences electricity shortages and a substantial power deficit, due to damage of its power plants and infrastructure since 2014. As of November 2020, production was estimated at 5,000 MW, while the power deficit stands at almost 2,500 MW per day, causing most Libyans to rely on private generators. As a result, foreign direct investment is needed in the sector to repair and replace damaged facilities, with the total value of contracts for power projects estimated at five billion dollars.
In a bid to expand installed capacity, the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) has outlined ambitious development plans over the next decade, including the construction of a major combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Benghazi, which could have a generation capacity of up to 1.5 GW. An additional 6,075 MW of new capacity has been planned for 2021 – 2030, including facilities in Sebha, Derna, Tripoli, Khoms, Tobruk and Benghazi. GECOL has forecast peak load to rise to 14,834 MW by 2025 and 21,669 MW by 2030.
To develop its infrastructure plans, the Libyan Government has made a strong push to engage private sector players. In September 2019, General Electric signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Libya to increase generation capacity by 6,000 MW over the next five years. Specifically, the U.S. power generation company has committed to developing power transportation projects, implementing new production capacities in the field of electric power and establishing renewable energy projects, specifically in wind and solar. In July 2020, Italian multinational Eni met with Libya’s National Oil Corporation to address plans for the country’s power sector. In line with an MoU signed between GECOL and the NOC, Eni is providing capacity building and technical support to define the code regulation of the national electrical power network and improve its operability, as well as supplying critical spare parts. The company is also conducting studies for the development of a new gas power plant and supporting the start-up of renewable pilot projects throughout the country. Meanwhile, Greek power developer METKA finalized agreements at the end of last year to build a new 740-MW gas power plant in Tobruk. The project carries a 15-month timeline and an investment cost of $121.4 million.
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