Lebanon Businessnews News

Conflict over energy
Mikati suggests building power plant to produce 500 Megawatts of electricity instead of renting barges
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Prime Minister Najib Mikati has proposed building a power plant that would generate 500 Megawatts of electricity instead of leasing power-generating barges. Mikati criticized the tenders which the Ministry of Energy and Water carried out for hiring the companies which own the vessels. Mikati’s remarks were included in a report annexed to the Cabinet agenda distributed to Ministers ahead of the session scheduled for this Wednesday (March 28).

Two companies, one American and one Turkish, have won the tenders for providing power-generating vessels. Turkish firm, ‘Karadeniz’, and US-based firm ‘Waller Marine’ have offered to generate 180 MWs of electricity each at a cost of around $429 million over five years (for each). Both offers exclude the expenses of the fuel oil which will be paid by the government.

Mikati argued that building a power plant is more feasible in terms of the amount of energy produced and of cost. He said that building a 500 MWs power plant takes a year and would cost a maximum of $480 million. He said that such a power production unit could serve for at least 25 years.

The government has been seeking quick alternative power sources since the approval of a bid to rehabilitate the power production facilities in Jieh and Zouk.

Power supply in the country is expected to drop dramatically this summer once the power plants in Jieh and Zouk are closed for maintenance works. The Council for Development and Reconstruction launched the bid for the rehabilitation of the two power plants on March 19.

reported by Hanadi Chami
Date Posted: Mar 26, 2012
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