The contract was initially awarded in January to Ireland’s Shanahan Engineering. However, Shanahan’s contract was cancelled by the government, which said there had not been enough competition. It was retendered in February and awarded in May to Iran’s Tamirat Niroo Tehran. However, Tamirat withdrew from the contract after refusing to meet Beirut’s performance bond requirements. EdL then awarded the contract to Italy’s Ansaldo. But that award was cancelled in July by the Council of Ministers, which demanded that the contract be retendered.

The contract replaces two two-year contracts held by Italy’s Enel since November 2001. Since Enel’s contract ended in November the facilities have been operated by the local PSM, which had been providing manpower to Enel at the plants (MEED 28:5:04).