Lebanon’s black market for private energy has created a perverse power structure that many say politicians have little incentive to reform. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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Lebanon has for decades struggled with daily power cuts that leave residents sweating through their shirts, summer after sticky summer.Last week, Lebanon received its third floating power station – the 235-megawatt Esra Sultan, built and operated by the privately owned Turkish Karadeniz Energy Group.Lebanon recently extended its contract with Karadeniz to ensure that at least two of the barges will continue serving the country for another one to three years.In the Beirut suburb of Dikwaneh, the media production company Final Cut purchased a $10,000 generator to provide backup power through 10-hour daily outages.The U.N. has registered more than 1 million Syrian refugees since 2011, an estimated one-fifth of Lebanon's population.They draw approximately 500 megawatts of power from the grid, according to a joint 2017 Energy Ministry and U.N. study.Then, this year, the Energy Ministry contracted with Karadeniz to keep the barges for another three years.Abi Khalil said the electricity purchased from Syria is more expensive than power EDL procures, but never exceeds 100 MW per month.
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