Germany’s Siemens has been awarded contracts worth $821m to increase Libya’s power generation capacity by 1.3GW.

Under the contracts with state-owned utility General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol), Siemens will build a 650MW open-cycle power plant in Misrata, northwestern Libya, and a 690MW open-cycle power plant in the Tripoli West area. Siemens will install two F-class turbines at the Misrata plant and four E-Class turbines at the Tripoli West plant.

The German company will also provide long-term services under the terms of the contracts.

The plants will help Libya meet its chronic shortage of electricity. The 2011 civil war brought Libya’s power investment programme to an abrupt halt. With electricity and fuel infrastructure targeted by both pro-regime and opposition forces, extensive power outages returned to households in the major cities of Tripoli, Misrata, Sirte and Benghazi for the first time since 2004. In 2016, peak demand reached 7GW, while available power capacity was only 5,700MW.

Widespread protests over power cuts in July 2016 resulted in the Government of National Accord (one of three authorities in post-revolutionary Libya) dismissing the entire board of Gecol.