Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on Wednesday held discussions with ministers and government officials regarding the return of Turkish companies to Libya, according to a statement from the Libyan ministry.
In a meeting with the Planning Minister Taher Al-Juhaimi and Libyan central bank officials, Sarraj discussed "issues of resuming projects that were interrupted due to extraordinary conditions and on conducting new projects, especially electricity and energy infrastructure projects with Turkish companies to provide fast and effective service for Libyans.”
Sarraj emphasized that resuming unfinished projects with private sector participation would be a start to a balanced relationship between Turkey and Libya.
According to World Bank data, 97% of Libyans had access to electricity in 2002, while this rate declined steadily and fell to 67% in 2018.
The electricity infrastructure in the country was badly damaged due to the attacks launched by warlord Khalifa Haftar’s illegal forces in eastern Libya to seize the capital Tripoli in April 2019.
Libya, which has the largest oil reserves in Africa, has been suffering from power cuts of up to eight hours a day in Tripoli, the country's most populous city.
Turkish companies quit the Libyan market in 2018 when three engineers were kidnapped. The engineers were abducted for eight months and then released.
However, Turkey's Karpowership company, the designer and builder of the world's first floating power plants, is now preparing to provide electricity for Libya. The company plans to provide 1000 megawatts of power to Libya's national grid.
The oil-rich country has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.
Libya has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in the east to which Haftar is affiliated, and the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, which enjoys UN recognition.
By Sibel Morrow