Miqati Lashes Out at Bassil, Rejects Leasing Power Vessels

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Prime Minister Najib Miqati lashed out at Energy Minister Jebran Bassil concerning the leasing of the power-generating vessels, wondering how Bassil didn’t “understand what the premier wants.”

“They usually read behind the lines. How didn’t they understand something that is really clear,” Miqati told An Nahar newspaper on Wednesday about the Free Patriotic Movement or the Change and Reform bloc of MP Michel Aoun.

On Tuesday, Bassil told An Nahar newspaper after a meeting for the ministerial committee tasked with finding a solution to Lebanon's prolonged electricity crisis that “the premier didn’t reject the power-generating vessels project but he didn’t either make a new suggestion… Frankly, I didn’t understand what the PM wants.”

A sharp difference emerged to the surface between the PM and Bassil over the power-generating ships, which Miqati argues could cost less if Bassil isn’t insisting on the two companies, Turkish and American, that won the tenders.

Miqati said he opposes the leasing of the vessels because the mechanism followed in launching the tenders was wrong.

“There will be no political compromises concerning this matter as it should be done in a transparent and credible way, since it will cost the treasury more than $1 billion over 5 years,” the PM told the daily.

Miqati revealed that he will submit a memorandum to the cabinet that includes the reasons behind his objection.

The committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday.

Informed sources told al-Liwaa newspaper that the premier is holding onto his opinion as there is still enough time to reach an alternative plan with fewer burdens on the treasury and better conditions.

Lebanon’s lingering electricity crisis has become a burden on citizens after shortages at its power plants whose maximum capacity is less than 1,500 megawatts.

The country’s actual need exceeds 2,300 megawatts.

Comments 7
Thumb cedar 21 March 2012, 08:44

Thank you Miqati, can you please ask your sunni friends in Saudi arabia to donate a gift to lebanon, a nice big and powerfull power station!

Default-user-icon Tony (Guest) 21 March 2012, 09:18

What do you want Miqati ? Why did you wait 1 year to object this project ? Are you happy to see Lebanese without electricity ? Are you happy to keep the country in the dark waiting ? What is your aim ? take comissions from a third vessel company ?
I am not politicized but everythime Bassil wants to improve the situation, you block him - your only aim is to block Bassil at the expenses of the Lebanese. Shame on you

Thumb jcamerican 21 March 2012, 09:26

What is wrong with these people. No transparency anymore?

Thumb kesrweneh 21 March 2012, 10:53

And the looser IS?? the Lebanese people who will be deprived of decent electrical supply! Well the subject was presented to Miqati a long time ago, and now he remembers that he has some questions to ask!!?? My guess is that he thinks he is some Gulf sheikh who can run the Imara the way he wants. Hopefully the majority will prove him wrong

Default-user-icon Khaled (Guest) 21 March 2012, 10:57

The 3rd company that Mikati claims will save the treasury money is owned by a personal friend. Mikati wants the contract to go to his friend. Mikati is proving every day that he is as dirty as the best of them.
Why wont he just let Bassil do his job?

Missing anonymoustxusa 21 March 2012, 19:34

Enough already
Bassil wants to grant the contract to 2 companies without transpirancy on the bidding.
Mikati wants to hold off because he has a friend who can build a thermal power plant.
If that doesn't make it clear to everybody that all politicians from all sides (dating back to 1990) are first concerned with how to fill their pockets, and don't deserve your votes, then don't blame anyone except yourself if you don't have any electricity, water or other services, except SERVICING the Huge debt that they put you under....Lebanese deserve what they reap

Default-user-icon Tony (Guest) 21 March 2012, 19:37

Do they know that we can build 1200 MW of Gas Combined Cycle for about $1B! They want to waste (and already wasted) billions of dollars on bickering and stupidity. Basil, Miqati none of these March 8 thugs is qualified to do his job.