Government Approves Power Barge Rental Before Assuming Caretaker Role

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Government Approves Power Barge Rental Before Assuming Caretaker Role

The Lebanese government on Monday convened for the last time, hours before assuming a caretaker role to make way for a new government to be formed following the parliamentary elections staged earlier this month.

The outgoing government made sure to pass the power barges project as local media reported that an agreement was reached between the Energy Ministry and the Turkish company Karadeniz to rent another barge that would provide Lebanon with a power supply of around 200 megawatts for free.

"The contract with the two existing power-generating barges has been renewed for three years; this proves that all the allegations that emerged lately regarding this issue were mere electoral maneuvers," caretaker Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said following the session.

"We negotiated new terms with the Turkish company. Accordingly, we got a reduced price for the next three years as well as a free power supply of 200 megawatts," he added.

"Let no one use the power sector issue to make themselves look as heroes. All this time has been wasted as the same decisions were taken. We did not change a single detail in the plan."

The energy minister was also tasked with relaunching a new tender to generate a power supply of 850 megawatts.

The government also agreed to transfer the contract with the company that is operating the Deir Ammar power plant to a build-operate-transfer contract (BOT).

During the six-hour-long session, President Michel Aoun asked Prime Minister Saad Hariri to set out a report detailing the accomplishments of the current government so that it would be presented to the Lebanese.

Moreover, a committee was also formed to follow up on the ongoing negotiations to broadcast the World Cup for free in Lebanon.