Restoration of Kadisha fleet of plants. More hydropower by 2015

Restoration of
Kadisha fleet of plants
More hydropower by 2015
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The entire fleet of hydropower plants, or plants generating electricity from flowing water, is being restored in Kadisha.

Four plants operate under the Kadisha power concession: Bechare, Abu Ali, Mar Licha, and Blaouza. They currently generate 21 MW. “These restoration works will increase hydropower production by seven percent,” Karim Osseiran, Energy Advisor at the Ministry of Energy and Water,said. The generated power is linked to the power network distributed across the country. The value of restorations and new installations is estimated at $4.7 million, taken up by the power concession.

Bechare hosts the oldest hydropower plant, built in the 1920s. It generates 1.6 MW of power. He said: “The plant is still running but is very worn down. Its power generation is not reliable since it breaks down very often.” Upon the completion of restoration, the power plant will generate 3.4 MW. The Abu Ali plant will double its production to reach six megawatts. The plant was first developed in 1932. The third plant, Mar Licha, which generates 3.3 MW, will also be repaired. The 1961 Blaouza plant will generate 8.4 MW once restoration is complete.

Power concessions are private companies that run and maintain public electricity facilities. Electricité du Liban (EDL) pays private concessions very low tariffs to produce power. Concessions suffer from financial problems since the tariff is their only fiscal resource. Osseiran said: “Tariff is not compatible with today’s market prices.” Concessions have signed a purchasing agreement with the EDL, which has the sole right to produce and transmit power.

The concessions’ 99-year contracts are ten to 12 years away from expiration. “Concessions do not want to invest in new machinery especially since their contracts will expire soon. These are the main difficulties that have stood in the way of improving hydropower production since its beginning,” said Osseiran.

Hydropower represents 282 MW or 12 percent of the total net installed power capacity. Other fleets include Litani River, Nahr Ibrahim, Nahr el Bared, and Safa Spring.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Sep 23, 2014