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Lebanon is currently producing some 15,000 Megawatts of electricity from solar energy, a quantity that is expected to rise thanks to increasing individual and collective initiatives. The endeavors in question are aimed at saving energy, reducing the electricity bills from private fuel-powered generators, and lowering taxation from Lebanon’s public power provider, Electricité du Liban (EDL), although the company barely provides any electricity.

In this context, Total Energies and Qatar Energy offered to build a solar park that produces 100 Megawatts of electrcity. The proposal was first received by Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, but Energy Minister, Walid Fayad, did not study it until last May. It turned out that the offer is no donation, but is in fact a contract by virtue of which the French and Qatari companies would build the solar park and sell electricity to EDL for 5 cents per Kilowatt. The contract also stipulates that EDL would have to pay for this energy from tax collection. It is worth noting that, by May 17, EDL had 38 million and 100 thousand fresh dollars in its account at the Central Bank and 800 billions fresh Lebanese pounds, which is equivalent to 8 million and 900 thousand dollars.

For this offer to be implemented, the consortium of Total Energies and Qatar Energy will need authorization to produce solar energy, which it would get from the Cabinet according to a law emitted by Parliament that granted it this prerogative. The second option would be for the consortium to buy the permit from one of the 11 companies authorized by the Cabinet in 2022 to produce a total of 165 Megawatts, the equivalent of 15 Megawatts per company. Should the consortium manage to achieve that, the Cabinet will be able to raise the energy production cap from 15 Megawatts to 100 Megawatts.

According to certain information, Qatar is not eager to buy one of the permits issued in 2022, and would prefer for the consortium to have its own authorization that would allow for the production of 100 Megawatts without prior approval. As a matter of fact, the Qataris did show interest in building a more powerful solar park should the project succeed.

If the initiative bears fruit, the solar park will be built in the Beqaa, knowing that the French giant CMA CGM had already bought 2 of the 11 permits and is now preparing to build two power plants, one in Joun (Chouf) and one in Kfifane (Batroun), in order to produce a total of 30 Megawatts of solar energy.

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