Cabinet heading for another crisis


The Lebanese Cabinet looks set for another crisis, this time over electricity. Energy Minister Gebran Bassil wants to bring in two ships which can generate electricity to cover the 800 megawatt a day shortfall. With a deteriorating energy situation he sees this as a solution to their problems. Energy production currently stands at 1,500 MW per day with normal consumption standing at 2,400 MW per day but with the likelihood of this rising to 3,000 MW per day during the summer season.

The energy minister says the cost of the two ships will be around $180 million a lot less than the $400 it would cost the economy in the use of backup generators.

The prime minister, Najib Mikati, on the other hand considers the project too costly and intends to put alternative solutions to the Cabinet when it meets today. He intends to offer a solution of a foreign company which will build a new generation plant within one year at a fraction of the cost of the two ships.

Mikati has had a number of arguments in Cabinet with ministers over a range of issues in the past few months.

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