Ministerial Committee Blocks Gasoil Tanker Unloading Credit Over Energy Ministry Disagreement

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2023-08-22 | 02:35
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Ministerial Committee Blocks Gasoil Tanker Unloading Credit Over Energy Ministry Disagreement
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Ministerial Committee Blocks Gasoil Tanker Unloading Credit Over Energy Ministry Disagreement

The Special Ministerial Committee on the Electricity Issue" did not approve the request to open the required credits for unloading the Gasoil Oil tankers "in light of the Ministry of Energy's non-compliance with the committee's decision regarding the necessity for obtaining a prior and clear resolution from it in this context." The responsibility was placed on the Minister of Energy, as stated in the committee's statement, "We leave it to the minister under all circumstances, and to mitigate any damage that the state will not be held accountable for, the freedom to act with the tanker as he sees fit."

The committee held its meeting yesterday under the leadership of caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and decided to "request the EDL to determine the quantity of its inventory of Gasoil and the extent of the funds available to it to open the required credits from the Ministry of Energy and Water.
 
Accordingly, the matter will be discussed at the next committee meeting to make the appropriate decision, by the mechanism decided in the previous meeting of the committee on April 12, 2023.

Responding to the decision, the Minister of Energy and Water in the caretaker government, Walid Fayyad, told "Nidaa Al-Watan," that "the credit opening letter was signed according to the rules by the Ministry of Finance before the end of July in favor of Coral Energy DMCC to cover the cost of the Gasoil shipment arriving on the carrier 'To be advised' during August and September 2023. The signed credit letter was also put by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the General Manager of the EDL, in the custody of Banque du Liban."

Regarding the way the Minister of Finance signed the credit while the ministerial committee did not approve it, Fayyad answered, "Ask the committee." And about the solution, he said, "The committee left the matter pending, and Banque du Liban refuses to open the credit letter despite the existence of a treasury advance. Note that the funds are available in the account of EDL at Banque du Liban, unless they do not want to allow EDL to use the rest of the treasury advances to pay for the fuel's price."

Meanwhile, the committee decided in its statement, "to request the EDL to determine the new tariff based on the latest exchange rate set by Banque du Liban (Sayrafa platform), effective from July 1, 2023.
The request includes extending the implementation of the board of directors' decision related to amending the electricity tariff, which settles 25% of the qualification allowance; 25% of the subscription allowance; and calculates 26 US cents per kilowatt-hour for non-subsidized consumption instead of 27 cents, until the end of June 2023."

The issue of the fuel and Gasoil tankers is like a tale of the oil jug. If the contract is signed before obtaining the credit or the approval of the special committee on electricity regarding the credit, the fines accumulate. If the contract is not signed, then there is no problem, as explained to "Nidaa al-Watan" by the Chairman of the General Procurement Authority, Jean al-Aliah. He asked, "Who will pay the fines that are beginning to accumulate due to the tankers' anchoring in Lebanese waters? And who will bear the responsibility for them?"
 

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