Turkey’s Karpowership Shuts Down Power to Lebanon, as Country Faces Economic and Electricity Crisis – Al Marsad

The news agency Reuters reported on Friday that the Turkish company Karpowership, which provides electricity to Lebanon from two barges, said it was shutting down supplies over outstanding payments and legal threat to its vessels as Lebanon faces a deep economic crisis. 

(LIBYA, 17 May 2021) – The Reuters quoted a source an expert source that said the generators were powered down starting from about 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), In conjunction with the two floating stations running out of fuel.


The source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the outstanding debt had exceeded US$100million, and that the government had not sought to arrange any talks to resolve the the dispute despite the firm’s repeated appeals to avert a shutdown.

Lebanon’s Finance Ministry said this week it had received a letter from the Turkish firm with a warning, “citing a lawmaker saying the country could face ‘total darkness’ if the barges shut off power. It has made no public statement about any talks.”

Lebanon currently receives 370 MW from the company, which equals about a quarter of Lebanon’s current supply. Karpowership told the government that it would have to shut it down unless efforts were made to settle the outstanding payments.

The Reuters report added that a Lebanese prosecutor threatened to seize the barges and fine the Turkish company, after a report was released by the Lebanese TV channel al-Jadeed which revealed corruption allegations over the power contract. Karpowership denied the charges. 

“For 18 months we have been exceedingly flexible with the state, continually supplying power without payment or a payment plan, because the country was already facing very hard times. However, no company can operate in an environment with such direct and undue risk,” said an official of Karpowership.

Each of Karpowership’s barges has a capacity of 202 MW, against a contract to supply 370 MW. The report said Lebanon’s total capacity was about 2,200 MW, including the barges, but was only generating 1,300 MW, including the Turkish supplies of 370 MW. Lebanon’s peak demand in 2020 was 3,500 MW.  

The threat of shutdown threatens longer daily power cuts across Lebanon, exacerbated by the fact the country struggles through a deep financial crisis and a currency collapse since 2019.


Media reports last month had indicated that Turkish companies were in talks with Libya’s former government, the Government of National Accord (GNA), and are now in talks with the interim Government of National Unity (GNU), to meet the urgent need for electricity faced by the country. Karadeniz Holding’s Karpowership, and other Turkish competitors, are expected to submit projects bids to the Dbaiba government.


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