Court of Accounts report blames operator for Fatmagül failure
Lebanon’s Court of Accounts said the Turkish operator of an electricity-producing barge assumes the responsibility for a monthlong stoppage in power production and urged the Lebanese state to seek compensation for the breach of the agreement terms. Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, the operator of the power ship, stopped its electricity production in April citing poor quality fuel oil delivered by Electricite du Liban. It resumed production early June after conducting repairs as the new fuel shipments arrived.
“The Turkish company had already conducted the needed tests for delivered fuel oil and signed the contract on delivery agreement (COD), in spite of their knowledge of the fuel quality,” a preliminary report by the investigation committee appointed by the Court of Accounts said.
“The company had passed through the same experience in Pakistan, which is an indicator that the company knew of the repercussions.”
EDL had long insisted the fuel it supplied to the ship matched the contract while the company said that fuel specifications should match IS0 8217 international standards.
The report said that Appendix B of the contract stipulates fuel specifications lower than what was demanded by the company.
“The committee sees that the specifications mentioned in Appendix B are the ones enforceable because they are sufficiently detailed. ... The ISO 8217 standards were only mentioned incidentally under ‘project information’ section of the contract.”
The report said while ISO standards required fuel to contain less than 0.1 percent of sediments, the contract said fuel could contain up to 0.2 percent. ISO also requires that fuel be free of additives including metals and lube oil, which is not the case in Appendix B.
The committee also believes that the Turkish company did not equip its engines with appropriate filters needed to avert damage from fuel quality.
It also suggests the delay of the second barge hired by Lebanon and the power failure are linked.
“According to the testimony of two company delegates ... the company was forced to dissemble some parts and equipment from the second barge to replace parts that were damaged in Fatmagül,” the report said.
The committee said it confirmed the arrival of replacement parts through bills of lading and customs clearance specifying that no major engine parts were part of the delivery that included fuel injection pumps and valve carriers.
“The company did not perform its duty to provide all spare parts or at least wait until the arrival of new parts before stopping electricity production,” the report said.
The second Turkish power barge, Orhan Bey, is expected to arrive by August, according to company sources. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil has said that the government is entitled to $82,000 a day in delay fees.