Testing of the gas turbines and the two 22-MW stream turbines should be completed in 12 months, providing the situation in the Gaza Strip does not prevent Alstom staff from carrying out their work. Israeli closures and roadblocks, and regular violent clashes on the road between Gaza city and the site of the project have hindered the progress of the first Palestinian IPP, which is being developed by Palestine Electric Company (PEC).

The developing consortium includes as its shareholders Amman-based Arab Bank, Palestine Development & Investment Company (Padico), Palestine Services Company, Arab Palestinian Investment Companyand Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC). The US’ Enron Corporation, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early December, has a 33 per cent stake in PEC. Samir Shawwa, PEC’s managing director, told MEED in December that the IPP would not be affected by Enron’s bankruptcy because the company’s subsidiary in charge of business activities in the Middle East and the Palestinian areas remains solvent (MEED 14:12:01).