Deal to lease power-generating boats delayed

Electricite du Liban building. (The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: The ministerial committee designated to discuss the leasing of power-generating boats failed again to reach an agreement on the companies that should win the bids.

According to sources, some members of the committee had some reservations about the U.S. and Turkish firms which supposedly made the best offer to lease the ships.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati reportedly is trying to reduce the value of bids to save the Treasury some money.

The committee, which compromises Mikati, Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil, Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi and Environment Minister Nazem Khoury, decided to postpone the discussions to Thursday.

Mikati is supposed to file a report to the Cabinet once the committee concludes its discussions and based on this report the government will decide whether to go ahead with the bids offered by the companies.

The Daily Star was told that there were sharp differences between Mikati and Bassil on the bids offered by the two companies. In theory, the boats should generate around 400 to 500 MW of electricity during the summer season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 20, 2012, on page 5.




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