Morganti insured in 2004 its 33 per cent stake in the plant against political risk for $48 million. OPIC has said it will fund Morganti’s share of the repairs. Funding will begin once Morganti starts incurring costs. ‘OPIC is being very helpful and very professional,’ says executive vice-president Nabil Takla. Morganti has already placed orders for replacement transformers. In the short term, the plant could resume partial production once replacement transformers are installed. This would bring production capacity up to about 50 MW.

The Gaza plant cost $150 million and took five years to build. It began operating in 2002 and reached full commercial production two years later. Gaza Power Generating Company, wholly owned by Palestinian Electric Company, is the holding company for the project. The Palestinian Energy Authority is in negotiations with Cairo to provide a short-term solution to Gaza’s power shortages, but an agreement has still to be reached.