Lebanon power ship failure caused by poor quality fuel - sources
The Turkish operator of the power ship hired by Lebanon has cut its electricity production because of poor quality diesel, Electricite Du Liban and Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim sources told The Daily Star denying any failure on the vessel’s generators.
An EDL spokesperson told The Daily Star that the capacity of the Fatmagül Sultan dropped because of concerns by the operator over the quality of the fuel supplied "as well as other issues".
Under the $360 million three-year contract signed by the Energy Ministry in 2012, the Lebanese government is responsible for supplying the fuel needed to run the ship.
But a source with knowledgeof EDL imports of fuel said samples from fuel shipments are tested at 3 different state-run laboratories before they are accepted, which could raise questions on the real reasons that are behind the sudden collapse in the ship’s supply.
EDL, the Energy Ministry and Karadeniz are currently negotiating a solution to the problem.
The spokesperson added expecting a measure to be announced later on Thursday.
Before the problem emerged, the source said, the ship had been supplying the grid with at least 180 megawatts, out of its 205 MW installed capacity.
A source at Karkey Karadeniz, who refused to be identified, told The Daily Star that there are no failures on the ship’s generators, confirming production was reduced over fuel quality concerns.
“We are being promised that the issue will be resolved very soon and that we will be supplied with better quality fuel within few days,” the source said, suggesting the ship would return to producing at full capacity.
An official joint statement by the Energy Ministry and the Turkish firm is expected to be released later Thursday evening.
Under the contract signed between the Energy Ministry and Karkey Karadeniz in 2012, the company is subject to 270,000-a-day of penalties if delays occur.
Additional penalties stipulated in the contract specify a $500,000/day for every percentage point of electricity production that falls below the contract, or if the ships are less fuel efficient than promised.
But it is unclear yet if the supplying bad quality fuel supply can eliminate the state's right for compensation.