Report: Thorny File of Renting Power Barge 'Heads to Cabinet Vote'
The government is expected to convene on Wednesday in a session described as “fateful”, amid a disposition to put to vote the “highly controversial” file of renting power generating barges, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
The cabinet was first set to convene on Tuesday, but the session was postponed because of “President Michel Aoun's insistence to propose the vessels' plan from outside the agenda and referring it to vote, while Prime Minister Saad Hariri prefers not take this bitter step ,” ministerial sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.
“The President is determined to decide on the plan in tomorrow's meeting. He will not allow any further postponement,” said the daily.
Ministerial sources who strongly reject renting power ships told the daily that “ministers of Hizbullah, AMAL, al-Marada, Lebanese Forces, Progressive Socialist Party and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party are going to staunchly stand against the plan.”
However, they voiced “fears it would pass shall it be put for voting.”
“Hariri has stressed that he does not wish things to deteriorate inside his government, and that he will do his best to avoid having the issue put for voting,” concluded the daily.
In November 2017, the Tender's Department said three companies bidding to provide electricity in Lebanon failed to meet requirements, leaving Turkish Karadeniz firm -- operator of the Fatmagul Sultan and Orhan Bey vessels that Lebanon has been leasing since 2012-- the only company to have met requirements.
But under Lebanese law no award can be made if there is only one qualified bidder.
Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, of the Free Patriotic Movement, was accused of “tailoring” the book of terms to secure the win of Karadeniz firm.