Three major international companies have shown interest in a new power plan that aims to address Lebanon's chronic electricity problem, The Daily Star reported.
General Electric, Siemens and Mitsubishi may bid for the new scheme which consists in building two power plants in Batroun's Selaata and Nabatiyeh's Zahrani, the newspaper quoted a political source as saying.
If applied, the plan will also see the existing power plants in Zouk, Jiyyeh and Zahrani shut down, the source added; it would take 18 months to finish the construction of the new plants.
The new contracts would be based on a power purchasing agreement between the companies and the Lebanese government, which will pay 8 cents per kilowatt-hour to the company that builds the plant.
The government will sell electricity at 14 cents to consumers; a hike from a current fee of 9 cents.
The companies will also build substations that will provide a large part of the required 1 gigawatt power production.
Once the new plants are built, the grid and power system will be upgraded by installing smart meters that allow the detection of electricity theft and tampering.
The companies would also be in charge of collecting bills.
Siemens CEO of Levant & Libya Syed Tahir Nazir told The Daily Star that his company and the Lebanese authorities are in “regular contact”, adding that the German company is always interested in being in Lebanon.
“We are waiting for Lebanon now,” Nazir said.
“We would like to deliver the entire plan, but it is not for us to decide. We will do whatever the Lebanese government asks us to do in order to provide a sustainable, long-term solution using natural gas and other renewables,” Nazir said.
According to a statement issued by General Electric, the company will “add up to 1.5GW through fast power technology and new simple cycle power plants that are tri-fuel capable able to run on heavy fuel oil, light diesel oil and natural gas, as well as wind power plants that can help to generate clean energy, in the short-term.”
The American company also said that it will increase power production capacity by up to an additional 1.3GW in the medium-term and bring online up to another 2.7GW in the long-term.