The Turkish operator of two barges hired by Lebanon to supply electricity said the second powership was due to arrive on Aug. 14 or 15.
Turkish media reported that the barge had been expected in Lebanon earlier this week, but company sources told The Daily Star that the information was not accurate and the powership was not scheduled to arrive at the Jiyyeh power plant, south of Beirut, before mid-August.
The two power barges will jointly provide 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs, company officials said during an iftar held Tuesday evening, dismissing the possibility of further technical complications.
Fatmagul, the first ship which arrived to Lebanon in April, stopped producing electricity for several weeks in May, and the firm blamed fuel quality problems for failures on the barge.
Fatmagul resumed its production at full capacity from the beginning of June when ISO-standard fuel was supplied, said Orhan Karadeniz, CEO of Karadeniz Holding.
“The problems we encountered forced us to use some of the equipment of the second powership to mend the first one immediately, which resulted in a small delay in the delivery of the second powership,” Karadeniz said.
“Our efforts [to restore production] were not a result of our contractual obligation, but because we wanted to deliver electricity,” he added.
Karadeniz’s statement confirms a report by Lebanon’s Central Inspection Committee which linked the Fatmagul failure to the delay of the Orhan Bey.
The report recommended that Lebanon seek compensation from the Turkish company, which it blamed for both the production stoppage of the first barge and the delay in the arrival of the second.
“God willing, we will be supplying 20 percent of the electricity in Lebanon. With this electricity, we hope that [our colleagues], the Lebanese citizens, will have increased economic prosperity within weeks,” Karadeniz said.
“We don’t think hiding behind our contractual rights is the correct way of doing business. We believe that delivering electricity to those who need it is the right way. We therefore invite all relevant parties to support us in delivering electricity,” he added.
However, EDL and Energy Ministry sources told The Daily Star the state-owned firm would be implementing the contract to its full extent, adding that compensation would be sought for the delay in the arrival of the powership.
Energy Minister Gebran Bassil has said that the government is entitled to $82,000 a day in delay fees.
If such compensation is sought, the Lebanese state would be entitled to $5 million for the delay in the arrival of the second boat.
source www.dailystar.com.lb By Mohamad El Amin