BEIRUT: The Lebanese government will seek more than $5.5 million in compensation from the Turkish operator of two power barges contracted by Lebanon, caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said Thursday. “The delay [of the Orhan Bey] from June to September, totaling 67 days, necessitates contractually a penalty of $5.504 million. ... Electricite du Liban will be keen to collect the sum in total in compliance with the contract,” the minister said in a statement following a tour of the newly arrived boat in Jiyyeh, south Lebanon.
The Turkish firm Karadeniz’s Orhan Bey barge was successfully connected Tuesday to the Jiyyeh power plant and has started supplying energy.
The company was not available for comment on the statement when contacted by The Daily Star.
Bassil said the barge would produce about 85 MW.
“With the leasing of the two barges, we are witnessing an improvement in supply hours,” the minister said.
Lebanon’s electricity supply has suffered for several weeks from a multitude of failures on transformers across the country. EDL reported at least four failures and several thefts on key transformer stations across the country, with power cuts increasing significantly in Beirut.
Bassil said work on a new power plant in Jiyyeh was progressing.
“On Sept. 20 we will reach a capacity of 55 MW, and on Aug. 20  we will achieve 78 MW up to [the full capacity] of 193 MW in October” 2014, he said.
He said total capacity improved to 1,800 MW earlier in the summer.
“Rehabilitating power plants is desperately needed because their conditions are extremely bad and they are like time bombs.”