Si­don to re­ceive more elec­tric­ity in 2018

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON - By Mo­hammed Zaatari

SI­DON, Le­banon: The elec­tric­ity sup­ply to Si­don and its out­skirts will in­crease once a new power sta­tion is com­pleted, Elec­tricite du Liban’s south­ern di­rec­tor an­nounced Fri­day.

“Elec­tricite du Liban is in the process of in­creas­ing the elec­tric feed to Si­don and its out­skirts by es­tab­lish­ing a main re­lay sta­tion that will sup­ply 140 [mega­volt-amps],” Samer Abdullah, EDL’s south­ern di­rec­tor said dur­ing a sem­i­nar spon­sored by the Fu­ture Move­ment. “A high volt­age dis­tri­bu­tion net­work of 220 kV will also be set up, and work on both will be com­pleted by spring 2018.”

Ab­dal­luh’s state­ment came dur­ing a “Di­a­logue Sa­lon” at the Fu­ture Move­ment’s of­fice in Si­don, or­ga­nized by the move­ment’s south­ern branch. The event in­cluded a sem­i­nar deal­ing with the re­al­ity of elec­tric­ity in Si­don and on the south­ern city’s out­skirts. The sem­i­nar was at­tended by a di­verse group, with pro­fes­sion­als and youth form­ing a large pro­por­tion of the turnout.

Hanan Nadaf, a mem­ber of the Fu­ture Move­ment’s south­ern branch, ad­dressed the as­sem­bled crowd, not­ing that 24-hour elec­tric­ity is the main de­mand of Le­banon’s pop­u­lace. “De­spite the fact that the cit­i­zen has to pay two elec­tric­ity bills a month in­stead of one, he can­not get en­ergy all the time,” she said, re­fer­ring to the bills owed for both state-sup­plied en­ergy and pri­vate gen­er­a­tors.

Abdullah gave a de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tion on the state of elec­tric­ity in Le­banon and Si­don’s elec­tric­ity needs in par­tic­u­lar. He pointed out that the new in­fra­struc­ture would, once com­pleted, fully sat­isfy Si­don’s elec­tric­ity needs. “Elec­tricite du Liban has come up with a de­ci­sive so­lu­tion for [the en­ergy] short­com­ings,” Abdullah said.

As for the dis­tri­bu­tion net­work and other lo­gis­ti­cal re­quire­ments, such as en­ergy bill col­lec­tion, the gov­ern­ment has out­sourced th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties to the pri­vate sec­tor, he said.

“Si­don, its out­skirts and the south fall un­der the Neu Com­pany. … The point of its con­tract is to in­crease the level of tech­ni­cal and ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices to the level of the hopes and am­bi­tions of the Le­banese,” Abdullah said.

Neu’s long-term con­tract ex­pired in 2016 and is be­ing re­newed ev­ery three months, he added. “The is­sue of re­new­ing the com­pany’s con­tract, or find­ing an alternative plan is on the level of the prime min­is­ter and the rel­e­vant min­is­ter,” he said.

Nasser Ham­moud, a Fu­ture Move­ment co­or­di­na­tor in the south, at­tacked the gov­ern­ment’s squan­der­ing of funds on the elec­tric­ity sec­tor.

“Seven­teen bil­lion dol­lars have been spent on elec­tric­ity – everyone knows this – in ad­di­tion to the 8 bil­lion dol­lars that is spent to sup­port the elec­tric­ity sec­tor ev­ery year,” he said dur­ing the sem­i­nar. “We have a de­mand of 3,200 megawatts … while the true en­ergy be­ing pro­duced is 1,600 megawatts.”

Ham­moud said that with good gov­er­nance, 3 bil­lion dol­lars would suf­fice to rem­edy Le­banon’s elec­tric­ity prob­lem.

Ham­moud said that with good gov­er­nance, 3 bil­lion dol­lars would suf­fice to rem­edy Le­banon’s elec­tric­ity prob­lem.

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