Sunday, July 4, 2021

Lebanon: Karpower shuts down power supply

A Turkish company that provides electricity to Lebanon from two power barges shut down its operations on Friday over delayed payments and the threat of legal action against its vessels. The move is expected to increase outages in the crisis-hit Mediterranean country.

The company Karpowership has been threatening to shut down its power supply to Lebanon for weeks and said it took the decision on Friday because of 18 months of overdue payments in excess of $100 million. However, the decision comes after a Lebanese prosecutor last week threatened to seize the ships, pending an investigation into corruption and graft allegations. The company has called those accusations baseless.

The company provides around 370 megawatts — about a quarter of Lebanon’s supply - through two electricity barges that have been anchored off the Lebanese coast since 2013. The company’s contract expires in September.

“For 18 months, we have been exceedingly flexible with the (Lebanese) state, continually supplying power without payment or a payment plan, because the country was already facing very hard times,” the Karpowership statement said. 

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