EdL recruits outside help

09 November 2001

Enelof Italy has signed two contracts, worth $16 million each, with Electricite du Liban (EdL)for the operation and maintenance of the 900-MW combined cycle power plants at Deir Ammar and Zahrani. Both contracts involve management of the plants, the supply of specialised maintenance services and the supply of changeover components over a two-year period. Enel says it is the company's 'first significant move into third-party power plant management'.

Lebanon has total installed capacity of about 1,900 MW, which is outstripped by local demand. Since 1993, more than $1,500 million has been spent on the establishment of new facilities and the rehabilitation of existing plants. The Council for Development & Reconstruction (CDR) estimates that $750 million will be invested in the sector in the next two years. The biggest project, worth $270 million, is for the rehabilitation of the low and medium voltage distribution network. EdL has completed the preliminary design for the project, and tendering is expected to take place early next year.

In March, BNP Paribaswas appointed to advise on the restructuring of EdL in advance of the anticipated sale of the company in 2003. In a statement released on 24 October, Energy & Water Minister Mohammed Abdel-Hamid Beydoun said that 'privatisation is the solution to citizens' problems with the firm. We cannot hide that EdL loses $464 million annually.' In response to government criticism of the management of EdL, the entire board resigned on 31 October (MEED 24:8:01).

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