Libyan gov’t agrees to name new electricity chiefs after protest

The UN-backed Libyan government said on Wednesday that a new board of directors for the state-owned General Electricity Company will be chosen, in the wake of a protest against power blackouts in the country.

The company will held an extraordinary meeting on July 19 “to consider amending some clauses of the company’s articles of association, before a second ordinary meeting will be held to choose a new board of directors,” the UN-backed government’s information office said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, dozens of Libyans protested in front of the UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli against the daily power blackouts, demanding the appointment of a new board of directors for the General Electricity Company.

Most Libyan cities, especially Tripoli, suffer from daily power blackouts that last more than 12 hours, especially during winter and summer.

Noting the 4,500-megawatt production of power against an average consumption of 7,000 megawatts, the General Electricity Company said daily blackouts are “necessary at the present time in order to save the general power network.”

The company also attributed the the lack of electricity in Libya to the lack of funding for maintenance of power network and suspension of new power plants projects after the executing foreign companies fled the country over security concerns.

Armed clashes over the past few years, especially recently in western Libya, have caused massive destruction to power facilities, as well as some stores of equipment and spare parts of the General Electricity Company, which are worth millions of U.S. dollars.