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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 16th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Lebanon considers buying new electricity generators
Lebanon considers buying new electricity generators PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Daily Star   
Thursday, 08 October 2009

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Move can help reduce power rationing

BEIRUT: Energy and Water Minister Alain Tabourian said on Tuesday that Lebanon is seriously considering buying 300 MW of powerful generators to reduce electricity rationing.

Speaking at a conference, the minister said the plan has the initial approval of caretaker Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

“Siniora called me yesterday and asked me to speed up the implementation of the project,” Tabourian said.

The new reciprocated engines could be installed next to the existing electricity plants and the work can be completed in a matter of few months.

Tabourian stressed that if everything goes according to plan, the new generators can be operational next summer.

He estimated the cost of the generators at between $250 million and $350 million.

Lebanon has been experiencing an acute power rationing since the end of the Civil War despite the attempts of all successive governments to overhaul this sector.

Late former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s government spent $1.5 billion to build two new gas-fired stations and modernize the existing ones.

In addition, governments spent more than $10 billion to cover the cost of fuel oil and gas oil that usually run the country’s ageing plants.

The governments also failed miserably to reduce the rising cost of fuel oil amid calls by energy experts to shift to coal or natural gas to run the power plants.

The Finance Ministry said recently that the deficit in the electricity sector alone will be more than $1.4 billion at the end of this year, or $1,500 for each Lebanese citizen.

Tabourian said that there is a possibility to pass this proposal to the Parliament and that the proposal comes from various international funds that have already allocated money for Lebanon.

At present, Lebanon produces 1,600 MW of electricity while the country’s actual need is more than 2,300 MW.

The minister argued that if Lebanon recorded a growth of 6 to 7 percent each year, then electricity consumption will increase accordingly.

“I have asked five Lebanese and foreign companies to prepare their files in order to present a proposal to the parliament as soon as possible,” the minister said.

He added that the plan will be presented by 10 deputies to the Parliament.

But Tabourian said that even if the generators were installed on time, power rationing would not drop immediately if consumption rose to alarming levels.

Power rationing was extremely high during this summer as more than 2 million tourists came to Lebanon, increasing the pressure on the electricity plants.

The minister proposed a long term plan to the cabinet which entails the construction of a massive plant that runs on coal.

Tabourian said he believed coal to be much cheaper than fuel oil and environmentally more friendly.

But the minister’s plan was shelved by Siniora on the basis that this scheme is unfeasible and too costly. – The Daily Star

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=107219

 



 
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