Two oil vessels docked in Lebanon's sea await payment approval

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2023-01-20 | 12:39
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Two oil vessels docked in Lebanon's sea await payment approval
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Two oil vessels docked in Lebanon's sea await payment approval

The two ships loaded with fuel oil are anchored in Lebanese waters, and Lebanon is paying delay fines for failing to unload their cargo. However, the fate of these ships is in the hands of the ministerial committee formed by the caretaker cabinet.

In its first meeting, this committee is tasked with studying what will happen to these two ships and whether the $38 million appropriation allocated for them will also be approved under a treasury loan. The two ships will unload their cargo in Zouk and Jiyeh tanks to power the plants there.

Caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayyad insisted that funds for these two ships must be approved, just like it was for the two gas oil ships, noting that neither a letter of guarantee nor a transfer of funds from the Central Bank had yet occurred.

He also pointed out that emptying them and operating the plants in Jiyeh and Zouk will increase feeding hours to about 5 hours per day, which will secure a financial balance and profit for Electricité du Liban (EDL). This will enable it to purchase more fuel and raise the power supply to between 8 and 10 hours per day, thus the emergency plan's success.

However, Fayyad cautioned that failing to make a decision regarding the fate of these two ships would result in the failure of the emergency plan, which would then plunge the electricity sector back into a financial black hole and an electricity shortage.

According to sources in the Energy Ministry, the approval of funding and emptying of both ships is also related to the outcome of the late payment penalties. But to resolve this issue, discussions have already started in the Energy Ministry between the parties involved in this case and Vitol Company.

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