Cesar Abi Khalil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Friday, March 31, 2017. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Within two days, the Energy and Water Ministry will launch its tender to attract bids for leasing two power barges, which will provide the country with seven additional hours of electricity feed, Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said.Abi Khalil said the ministry would evaluate the bids it receives, select a company, and then seek Cabinet's approval. According to Abi Khalil, electricity supplies can increase to 21 hours a day in May this year if more power-generating barges are added to the existing ones and two overhauled power plants are activated.EDL's deficit currently stands at LL2.1 trillion annually ($1.4 billion): 80 percent of this deficit is attributable to the cost of fuel oil, while the rest is due to poor collection of bills, electricity theft and technical problems.However, the minister said that the price of one kilowatt would gradually increase from LL133 to LL188, equivalent to around a 40 percent increase.The ministry's strategy also includes a plan to import natural gas, which will save 30 percent compared to the cost of fuel oil.
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