Libya Starts Up First Generator At Sirte Power Plant

Libyan electricity generator Gecol has announced the start-up of the first of four steam generators at the Al-Khalij power plant, under construction at Sirte.

The first unit of the planned 1.4GW plant was intended to be brought online in early May, but start-up was delayed by the looting of copper and equipment, which led to the collapse of two transmission towers. How long the unit will be operational and how long the other three units will take to complete is uncertain, given the regular attacks on Libya’s power installations by local militias and looters.

Two Turkish firms began work on the Al-Khalij project in December 2009: detailed design was carried out by Tefken under an engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded to Gama Enerji. The plant will comprise four 350MW thermal units able to burn natural gas, heavy fuel oil (HFO) or diesel. Although the plant is intended to run mainly on gas, Gecol made no mention of which fuel was burned at start-up. Given the security issues and the incomplete state of construction, the likelihood is that diesel is being used. (CONTINUED - 283 WORDS)