Libyans are yearning for an end to daily power blackouts across the country that boasts of Africa’s largest reserves of oil and gas, and a population of just seven million.
On most days, Tripoli residents can expect multiple cuts to the main supply totaling 12 hours a day.
According to the state-run General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), generating capacity from oil and gas power stations of between 5,000 and 5,500 megawatts falls well short of the demand of 7,000 MW in winter and 8,000 MW in summer.
Two new power stations are under construction in Tripoli and Libya’s third city Misrata. They are expected to add 1,300 MW of capacity to the grid in the first quarter of 2022. A third will follow in Tobruk, in the far east of the country.
Until then, the energy crisis favors a fruitful business of generators, proposed around 400 euros for the most basic devices and several thousand for the most reliable.
Walking down any commercial street in the Libyan capital, Tripoli is the sight of generators lined-up and ready to spring into action whenever the mains electricity supply cuts out.
Keeping the generators fueled up has become a daily chore for many seen at service stations, equipped with funnels and jerry cans for the generators queue alongside motorists.