Power ship arrives in Lebanon
The first of two electricity barges aimed at boosting Lebanon’s ailing power production entered Lebanese territorial waters Saturday.
Fatmagul Sultan, a vessel owned by Turkish firm Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, is one of two ships expected to supply Lebanon with 24 hours of electricity every day in 2015.
A Beirut Port representative could not confirm the time of arrival or the port the vessel would dock at.
"Initially, it was expected to dock near the Zouk power plant,” the representative told The Daily Star.
“But we have not received anything official with regard to the docking time and whether it will be at Beirut [Port]," he added.
In July 2012, Lebanon signed a $360 million three-year contract to lease electricity-generating barges from the Turkish firm. The two barges combined could generate 270 megawatts of electricity.
Lebanon suffers a severe shortage in electricity as the country produces 1,500 MW of electricity per day while consumption exceeds 2,400.
The government plan to lease the power-generating ships also includes the construction of 1,500 megawatt power plants.
Some critics have slammed the agreement with Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, warning that the Pakistani government filed a lawsuit against the company two years ago for failing to abide by its contracts.
Karachi reportedly confiscated two power barges for a few weeks to force the company to pay compensation.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the two barges would allow Electricite du Liban to reduce power rationing in Lebanon by between two and three hours every day.
According to the contract, the Turkish company is obliged to pay a fine to the Lebanese government if it fails to deliver the two barges on time.