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Libya Seeks Floating Power Station From Turkish Company

Ercan Ersoy

(Bloomberg) --

Turkish power company Karadeniz Holding AS is in talks with the Libyan government to sell electricity to the war-torn country.

Authorities in Libya, where years of fighting have damaged the power grid in the capital, Tripoli, and other cities, have approached Karadeniz to buy 1,000 megawatts of electricity, the Istanbul-based company said. Karadeniz unit Karpowership has a sufficient number of floating power stations to supply Libya with electricity if an agreement is reached, the company said.

“Libya has daily power outages of eight to 10 hours,” Zeynep Harezi, head of the power trade group at Karadeniz Holding, said in emailed comments. “We are ready to resolve their power shortage problem quickly by sending our ships with 1,000 megawatts capacity to Libya in 30 to 60 days.”

Karpowership operates 25 vessels mounted with plants that use natural gas, liquefied natural gas or heavy fuel-oil to generate electricity, Harezi said. It generally sells electricity to countries in dire need of power.

Nearly a decade of political turmoil has left Libya divided between a United Nations-recognized government in Tripoli, which is also backed militarily by Turkey, and a competing administration based in the east.

Turkish and Libyan ministers held talks earlier this month focused on the resumption of work by Turkish companies in the North African country, cooperation in oil and infrastructure, and a maritime and security pact signed between the two governments last year.

That agreement outraged eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar, whose army has been driven from western Libya by Turkish-backed forces loyal to the Tripoli government.

It also raised concerns among regional rivals that Turkey would use it to lay claim to natural-gas riches in the eastern Mediterranean. Haftar’s Arab partners, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, have accused Turkey of trying to undercut efforts to broker a political solution to the Libyan crisis. Turkish authorities reject the accusations.

(Adds comment in fourth paragraph, updates the number of vessels in last)

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