The first of two power generation barges intended to reduce Lebanon’s power supply shortfall has arrived in Lebanese territorial waters, the Daily Star newspaper reported on 18 February. The Fatmagul Sultan powership is owned by Turkey’s Karkey Karadeniz and is being chartered by Lebanon under a $360mn three-year contract for two barges with a combined generating capacity of 270mw. Fatmagul Sultan is a newbuild vessel with 175mw generating capacity, incorporating nine generating sets able to burn heavy fuel oil or natural gas.

Karadeniz will connect the ship to the Lebanese power grid at a specially built mooring near Zouk power plant, to the north of Beirut. A second power ship is due to be delivered in four months’ time and will be moored near Jiyyeh power plant to the south of Beirut. The power ships are part of a government plan to boost Lebanon’s power capacity by 1.5gw. Currently the country’s supply cannot reach 1.5gw, although demand exceeds 2.4gw (MEES, 8 February). Energy minister Gebran Bassil told reporters the barges would enable Electricite du Liban to reduce power rationing by 2-3 hours a day. (CONTINUED - 266 WORDS)