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New power plant mooted to ease Lebanon’s power crisis

23 October 2008 – The Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported the Energy and Water Minister Alan Tabourian saying he is looking into the feasibility of building a new power plant to reduce the electricity rationing that afflicts the country.

Speaking to the Central News Agency, Tabourian said the government was studying the idea carefully, but declined to give details on the potential location and costs involved.

The minister said a delegation from the Energy and Water Ministry had recently visited Cairo to negotiate the price of the electricity that Egypt would supply to Lebanon.

Egypt has agreed to supply Lebanon with between 150-350 MW of electricity. The high voltage lines would cross Jordan and Syria, each of which will receive a share of the Egyptian generated electricity.

Currently, Lebanon produces less than 1600 MW of electricity while its actual need is estimated to be in excess of 2300 MW.

The country’s low power production has resulted in Electricite du Liban, the state-owned utility applying tough power rationing in most parts of the country.

The government has maintained it does not have the financial means to build new power plants. Instead, it wants to encourage the private sector to invest in new electricity plants under build, operate and transfer contracts.