Libya Electricity Sector Stabilization and Transition Support (LESST)


    This UNDP and UNEP Joint Programme in Libya builds on an ongoing international and national working partnership, focused on both maintaining critical electricity and electrically power water supply services and commencing a national transition to more sustainable forms of electricity generation and consumption.


    The project aims to support the stabilization, reform, and transition of the national electricity sector. This is structured around 3 objectives that are designed along the following areas:

    • The operational performance of the national electricity grid is stabilized in 2021 and improved in 2022

    • National policy and governance is advanced in the electricity sector support (transition to sustainability)


    Major Achievements 

      In 2021, an organizational diagnostic of GECOL indicated the most urgent internal weak point with respect to stabilization was its central plant maintenance and overhaul procurement and contract management team. A US$1 billion long term backlog of preventative maintenance of the gas and oil fired power generation plants, combined with a lack of modern management tools, resulted in a serious bottleneck in repairing and restarting the damaged plants and keeping the remaining power plants in operation.
      In response, the project rapidly built an interim power plant management database (online in English and Arabic) and trained GECOL in its use and thereby accelerated contract management. In addition, LPFM, UNEP and GECOL jointly developed and rolled out a transparent and fair load shedding schedule, to distribute the disruption of scheduled power cut across over 80 municipal sized circuits. In addition, GECOL was supported in greatly improving and increasing its public outreach, communicating the need for energy conservation and warning of load shedding in advance.
      In summary of the impact, in summer 2020, the national grid suffered 16 serious blackouts, protests and several violent incidents, whilst in summer 2021 if suffered only 1 blackout and no serious incidents. This increased grid stability in turn underpinned social and economic stabilization efforts across Libya. The increase in power plant peak availability from 47% to 74% also places GECOL in a much better position for the coming 2021 winter and 2022 summer demand peaks.
      This project is also leading the work at the Libya's National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) Electricity and Renewable Energy Committee. This committee is formulating the National Sustainable Energy Strategy till 2035 which aims to review options for the future development of the electric power, renewable energy, and energy efficiency sector in accordance with an integrated view of the energy, through analysis and evaluation of the current situation.
      Lastly, policy support and technical advice is also being provided to the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya  (REAOL), Great Man-Made River Authority (GMMRA) and National Oil Company (NOC) to address the water, renewable energy and efficiency and oil sectors.

      47 to 74


      Increase in power plant peak availability



      Are under transparent and fair load shedding schedule