The Turkish power barge that docked in Kesrouan's Zouk Mikael two days ago began producing 150 megawatts of electricity Wednesday, local news station LBCI reported.
It remains unconfirmed how many hours of electricity the barge, known as the Esra Sultan, will provide, though LBCI reported that Kesrouan and surrounding areas will now see 24 hours of electricity a day.
The barge has the potential to produce up to 235 megawatts with the right infrastructure, but docked in Kesrouan can only produce a portion of that. An Electricite du Liban source said Monday that 80 to 90 megawatts are set to be taken up by Kesrouan, some areas in Jbeil and some areas in Metn, while 30 to 40 megawatts will go to the rest of Lebanon. The barge’s remaining roughly 100 megawatts of potential electricity, equal to about an hour of extra daily coverage for the power-starved nation, will not be used.
Zouk Mikael’s mayor has meanwhile asked that the barge be used as a stopgap for rehabilitation of the 1950s-era power plant in the town, which would mean residents would see less significant increases in daily electricity.
Esra Sultan is set to provide three months of “free” electricity, though the conditions of its stay remain uncertain.
It is the third such floating power ship to have been delivered by Karadeniz Energy Group, and came as part of a deal the Lebanese government struck with the Turkish company to extend contracts by three years for the two barges that have already been providing power to Lebanon since 2013.
It was originally supposed to dock in the southern city of Zahrani, where all 235 megawatts would have been absorbed into the grid. The Amal Movement claimed responsibility Friday for preventing its docking there, claiming it would have delayed construction of a fixed power plant and polluted the environment.
Copyright © 2019, The Daily Star. All rights reserved.