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A goodwill gesture over electricity sows discord in Lebanon

  • Sat, 11 Aug 2018 00:31
Author: 
By PHILIP ISSA | AP
ID: 
1533882241614511100
Fri, 2018-08-10 (All day)

BEIRUT: A goodwill gesture to power-starved Lebanon from an energy company in Turkey has backfired, igniting mudslinging and corruption allegations.
This summer, the Karadeniz Energy Group lent Lebanon a floating power station to generate electricity at below-market rates to help ease the strain on the country’s woefully under-maintained power sector.
Instead, the barge’s arrival opened a Pandora’s box of partisan mudslinging in a country hobbled by political sectarianism and dysfunction.
There’ve been rows over where it should dock, how to allocate its 235 megawatts of power, and even what to call the barge.
It’s even driven a wedge between Lebanon’s two dominant Shiite Muslim parties: Amal and the militant Hezbollah.
Lebanon has faced rolling blackouts for decades and outages in the south can stretch for more than 12 hours a day.

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