Search
Search

ELECTRICITY CRISIS

Mikati and Fayad exchange barbs over electricity deal

BEIRUT — Following his cabinet’s final session before it is officially considered resigned, Prime Minister Najib Mikati Friday announced that Siemens and General Electric had made an offer to Lebanon meant to supply the country with 24 hours of electricity per day and accused Energy Minister Walid Fayad of withdrawing the terms of reference that had been prepared for the offer yesterday after he had submitted it to the government “without giving any excuse except [needing to] study it more.”

Here’s what we know:

    • In a speech Mikati said that he and other ministers had received personally an offer from the two companies to supply Lebanon with power stations to produce electricity which would allow Lebanon to generate 24 hours electricity per day which include “a very reasonable price, but we withheld our reply to prepare the appropriate terms of reference in a transparent manner and in accordance with the applicable laws” but that Fayad had then suddenly withdrawn the request after submitting it to the cabinet.

    • Shortly after Mikati’s speech, Fayad replied in a statement to Mikati saying that he had withdrawn the proposal because “it is important that the offer meets financial and legal conditions” and said that “the offer should be reduced price because it is still high and it should include an improvement in the conditions of payment.”

    • On Friday, the cabinet gave Fayad exceptional authority to sign off on the Egyptian energy deal, in which Lebanon would import natural gas from Egypt by way of Jordan and Syria, in the future. Since the government will go into caretaker status once the new Parliament is sworn in on Sunday, the deal might otherwise have been delayed if there is not a quick formation of a new cabinet. Mikati said that delays in the signing of the deal to date are linked to international law and to reaching an agreement with the three countries concerned before a World Bank loan for the project can be approved.

    • Regarding the government’s economic rescue plan which cabinet approved on Friday, Mikati said that “we have agreed with the International Monetary Fund to secure deposits up to $100,000,” however a copy of the rescue plan seen by L'Orient Today did not contain any figure regarding the amount of deposits that would be protected.

    • “Despite the great challenges, I have accepted to take on this national responsibility with courage and I will continue to work towards it, but I will not accept suicide either because some decide to put their personal interest above the interest of all,” Mikati also said in his speech.

    •  Mikati’s cabinet was formed in September 2021, after 13 months of government formation, following the resignation of Hassan Diab's cabinet in the wake of the Aug. 4 port explosion.  


BEIRUT — Following his cabinet’s final session before it is officially considered resigned, Prime Minister Najib Mikati Friday announced that Siemens and General Electric had made an offer to Lebanon meant to supply the country with 24 hours of electricity per day and accused Energy Minister Walid Fayad of withdrawing the terms of reference that had been prepared for the offer yesterday...