18 August 2017

Lebanon, a country plagued with power rationing, seems to find no solution for its longtime crisis in light of disagreements among political parties over the means to tackle the problem.

The government has canceled on Thursday a previous bid to lease Turkish power generating vessels to improve power supply, and has therefore approved a new tender with new conditions.

Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil was tasked by the government to prepare new tender documents to lease power-generating plants, and to present them to the cabinet in one week for approval before sending them to the Tenders Department of the Central Inspection Bureau, Information Minister Melhem Riachi had stated after the cabinet meeting.

Companies interested in submitting their bids to lease power-generating plants will be given a two week notice by the Tenders Department.

A previous bid to lease Turkish power-generating ships was annulled at the request of Abi Khalil, “it was canceled because there was only one bidder,” said Riachi.

Some political parties, mainly the Kataeb party, have criticized the previous electricity bid dubbing it as “illegal” and a means to achieve “personal gains.”

A senior Kataeb source who spoke on condition of anonymity told al-Joumhouria daily on Friday: “The government decision as for the power-generating ships file is a clear self conviction. Although what is demanded is rectifying the technical course of the power-generating ships, but what is required politically is to hold those responsible for violating the law.”

Kataeb MP Salim al-Sayegh told VDL (100.5): “The opposition’s stance was necessary to scrap the electricity bid. The battle is not over yet.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani said: “The previous course of the file was marred by several defects. Competition and obtaining the best prices is the most important.”