All I want for Christmas is 5 Amperes

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Does anyone have any update on the two power-generating ships that Our Energy Minister promised to deliver by November? Last time I heard about the ships, they were help somewhere in a Pakistani port for violating some minimal safety and general requirements.

If that’s true, I hope they never come.

43 thoughts on “All I want for Christmas is 5 Amperes

  1. Rob

    as per minister’s announcement on twitter the the down payments have been payed late november the first ship will arrive after 4 months and the second one after 6 months

    1. Elie

      Thank you Rob for this clarification, since we see Gebran Bassil’s name in every single blog written by Najib!!! ma ba2a fi meshekle bi lebnen gheir Gebran Bassil??

        1. Rob

          well technically its NOT his fault its the ministry of finance’s fault coz the money comes from the MOF and they were late for the payment 😉

          1. jim

            Lebanese are late to everything, i think the rest of the human race will evolve and we’ll still be bickering over electricity.

        2. Elie

          I defy you to make a small statistics and count which politician name appears the most in your blog!! (P.S. I read all your blogs and everyday).

          1. Najib Post author

            I defy you to make a small search on the internet and see which minister (since it’s not a political matter here) was featured mostly online this year and even got a website named after him.

            Like I said and repeat, I post about hot topics and about people not doing their jobs properly, whomever they are and whatever their affiliations are. Electricity and the internet were popular the past two years and I’ve done my part of the job and stated my opinion on those matters and sometimes included humoristic ones.

            Choukran Qatar 🙂

          2. Sami

            “Li ma byechteghil akid ma byoghlat” the thing is that the ministers of electricity and communication are constantly trying to improve the poor situation that the ones that you don’t critiize have make it. So you think that the traffic in lebanon is excellent, the roads are perfect, the security is soooo good, the laws including electoral law is brilliant…. The internet and electricity are the only headaches yhat we have…

          3. Najib Post author

            Why are you changing your name?
            I have been posting a lot about the internet and how it has improved and praised Sehnaoui for his work and become good friends with him as well.

            “Li ma byechteghil akid ma byoghlat”

            El mouhem techteghil mazbout mich techteghil bil 3alam.

            We have a lot of issues and I tackle most of them or whatever I find appealing to me. I think everything is really bad in Lebanon and I don’t care about electoral laws as I won’t be voting anytime soon.

  2. Elie

    I am not changing my nane habibi i changed pc and got a different name. Smalla 3leik chou objective enta rouh tdhak 3a ghayre.

  3. Rob

    everyone balmes bassil, while others before him did nothing other than wait for the power stations to rot and it has been getting worse year after year since 92 or even before, as if we had 24/24 electricity before bassil haters r gonna hate, and when he thinks of projects for renewable energy they say “khali yzabbti el kahraba ba3dein yfakker bi holeh”, in fact this is a MUST and it should be done parallel to fixing /building new power stations

    1. Najib Post author

      Those who oppose Bassil politically will definitely attack him all the time, the same way the previous ministers were attacked. This is Lebanon and this is what our officials are best at doing.

      However, we cannot stop everytime and blame our everyday issues on previous ministers and dig out issues from the past. People want to hold accountable the person in charge now, whether it’s a bank, company or ministry. While Telecom Minister has found ways to improve the internet and introduce 3G and increase the antennas and all, Energy minister has gone from bad to worse.

      1. Rob

        electricity issue is MUCH worse and critical than telecom issue, THINK logic u CANNOT STOP the power stations to fix them, the whole country will get into TOTAL darkness, u MUST have an alternate power source = powerboats since we cant get power not from syria nor from egypt they have their OWN problems
        u cant fix it in one year he has been here since 2010 and the problem existed for TWENTY years or so
        the delay was because of a FINANCE issue and hes NOT the minister of financehe ONLY made the plan
        if u have any suggestion mr minister tell us

        1. Najib Post author

          The problem has existed for 20 years and the delay is not just due to a finance issue. There’s a bigger image that no one wants to see and everyone wants to cash in few dollars from the contracts.

          I will not dig in deeper on this topic as I know what I’m talking about and we’d had generous offers to resolve the issue yet weren’t accepted for unjustifiable reasons.

          There are tons of stuff that don’t need the minister of finance that can be done, like working in parallel on providing green energy and mini generators in several areas like the one a Lebanese suggested once and I posted about.

          If you really believe there’s nothing more the ministry can do, then let’s beg to differ. I always believe there’s something one can do even in the worst of conditions.

          1. Rob

            well najib i wish you could have asked that to him so that we ALL would know y hes not doing it and NOT assume things as usual

          2. Najib Post author

            Let those voting for him ask him unless they are fine with it that way.

            For me corruption is all over Lebanon and only a constitutional change will help us get somewhere but that’s another talk I don’t want to engage in now.

            We can talk about it over a beer if you like.

  4. Elie

    You are contradicting yourself, “People want to hold accountable the person in charge now” and on the other hand you don’t care about electoral laws since you don’t vote. Please tell me how can you hold accountable a person without voting, is that by just blogging???

    1. Najib Post author

      Am I really? Any electoral law that comes out under the current system we have won’t hold anyone accountable of their acts. If you really believe that by voting you are able to influence the candidate, then it’s your democratic right but for me nothing has been changing for years because of a bigger problem that no one wants to tackle.

      I blog about stuff I believe are wrong and should be fixed and give my opinion. The sure thing is I am able to reach out to officials more than voting would.

      1. Elie

        I agree that it is a constitutional problem in Lebanon, but how can we tackle it, is that by always criticizing the only persons who cares about reform in Lebanon, believe me that all others don’t care at all about our problems and concerns all they do is talking about geopolitical and nonsense issues.

        1. Najib Post author

          Well let’s start by defining who cares and who doesn’t because I believe very very few do care really and Bassil is definitly not one of them.

          1. Elie

            It seems you have “Bassilophobia”, here’s a proof how many times you state bassil in your blogs and replies. You are unable to see that all Hariri era was The CORRUPTION by itself, Jumblat, Berri, Sanioura, Gemayel, Hezbollah, Jaajaa… are now the angels, it is very clear that the corruption is elsewhere and you don’t want to see but BASSIL for political reasons eventhough you’re always claiming that you are neutral and objective, please remove this mask and let’s talk clearly and in a sincere way, you hate bassil because you are against him politically…

          2. Gianni


            You do not seem biased at all! BTW to my knowledge Jaajaa(as you frame him) was sitting in jail during the “hariri era”…Now really you seem to be so objective! Please explain when should we hold the ministers accountable? It is YOUR government of ONE colour! Sftop blaming “other” ministries!

          3. Najib Post author

            I have nothing personal against the guy. I dislike anyone not doing his job properly hence 99% of the politicians in Lebanon 🙂

          4. Elie

            I agree that 99% of the politicians are not doing their job, therefore I will be impatiently waiting your next posts in order to reveal them and make fun of them as you always do with Bassil with that you will prove that you have nothing personal with the guy.

          5. Najib Post author

            I did a quick search and came out with barely 10 out of 3000 posts that mention Bassil (And not all in a bad way) and at least 10-15 other related to other officials so I don’t know much about ur “always” do with Bassil comment. Eitherways wait and u won’t be disappointed 🙂

          6. Elie

            I will wait and see, nevertheless 10 for bassil equally with all other officials in Lebanon it is too much, isn’t it 😉

  5. maya

    Bassil knows when 2 deliver them fresh and fast ,doesnt he ,just on Election :p,that if they arrive orrrrr the poor will be out ,uuuuu Lebanese u r the ones who should’ve organized an Arab Spring amon all the Arab countries ,we are the ones supressed and under pressure all the time

  6. maya

    Anywayzzz since the civil war ,there has been no good government ,all all have been corrupt and in the future will get more corrupt ,this is reality

  7. maya

    Mmm well reading the comments ,well i hate Bassil but Najib they are right ur being subjective ,of course Bassil is 2 blame but there are others held accountable for blame 2 for other problems ,Hariri,Geagea,Aoun,Hassan nasrallah ,Berrrii,they all stole ,and to me there’s not choosing in between them ,whomever follows 14 or 8 follows them for a certain party reason ,but people can never be independent here ,imagine if they got to make mostly independent ,that would wipe off all the 14 and 8 ,but that’s not in their interest right,anyway while im off and away from Lebanon ,id like 2 c pple and government alike bickering over their problems

    1. Najib Post author

      If you go to a restaurant and they serve you a bad chicken you blame the company that got the restaurant the chicken or the restaurant manager?

      Whether he’s called Bassil or Geagea or Dory el 3andabouri, whomever is in charge of the energy ministry is to be blamed for what’s happening. After all, he did accept to take this responsibility no?

      I never claimed the government is any better anyway nor defended anyone else. I actually don’t know why we are discussing whether I am being subjective or not while the issue concerns all of us and we still don’t have proper electricity. That’s the key issue here.

  8. maya

    One more thing guys ,i know when bassil delivers that missing electricity ,everyone will bow in front of him and forget the past ,i wont ,i just wont wote 4 any1 unless for a truely independent candidate

  9. S

    Basil’s partner is a cousin of Hariri
    Every politician will fight to make the people fight but all of them are actually friends
    8 of march steals half of the money from the people and 14 of March the other half
    So please stop blaming anyone and blame yourself because you have voted with one of those 2 alliances

  10. Red

    I always read your blog , you have to admit you attack bassil 2 many times . Everyone does. As a blogger its your job to attack gov officials but I think in order to improve the situation we need to attack the right ones.Since we are talking about the power generating ships , well Bassil has been working for 2 years to bring them while everyone was fighting him for it. A little background on this project : the ships were supposed to come during the summer of 2010 and they were supposed to generate 360 MW. That was a part of his 700 MW emergency plan. The reason he is bringing ships is to replace the Zouk and jiyeh power plants during maintenance which hasn’t been done for decades. While everyone was fighting to get a piece of the cake like Mikati who had some suspicious concerns about the ships ( the reason was because he wanted the contract to go to his relative) Bassil awarded the contract to Samir Doumit ( Future Movement ). You should take a moment and ask yourself would a Future Movement minister ever award FPM such a big contract. Anyway after 2 years and a half he managed to seal the deal . The contract which was signed mid July 2012 stated that the Turkish company will deliver the first ship 4 months after receiving the down payment which was delayed 4 months. You can blame Safadi for the delay not Bassil. Same story goes for all projects. Unnecessary delays and obstruction at your expense. Putting aside our political differences, we shouldn’t blindly attack the ones working rather the ones obstructing. i onder why no one attack Ghazi al aridi , people are dying on the roads , traffic everywhere and he is been the minister for ages. As for comparing the ministry of energy to telecom, you are smart enough to realize that Sehnaoui is doing a good job but the telecom sector was already in good shape making more than a billion dollar a year and is ran by a private sector while the electrical sector is ran by the gov (EDL) with unqualified people , corruption and almost zero budget and has been losing billions for ages.

    1. Najib Post author

      I don’t attack anyone too often. The electricity issue, just like the internet issue are hot topics and I usually find funny videos talking about them nevertheless I will take it that you are right and move on with your logic:

      Our job as citizens is to hold accountable people that we voted for for their work and mistakes. Each representative has responsibilities and duties and each minister is concerned with his own ministry and what it requires. Based on that If a minister takes it upon himself to handle a certain job, he should accept it with all its problems and not blame it on what happened before. I’ve heard the conspiracy theory that he’s being fought and others want money out of the deals the other way around and I’ve heard we got many deals that Bassil rejected because he wanted a bigger amount assigned and many other stories. I also heard there’s a big problem on the two ships coming as they have irregularities and as a result we have to pay penalties to release them before they come.

      The point is I never said Bassil is only to blame but he’s the guy in charge and he should be doing the explanations and justifications not us. Giving the contract to his political opponent which he accuses of corruption all the time does not comfort yet to be honest because there are many FM members with a history of corruption and dishonesty. If he is really in a position that could compromise his reputation and he’s being fought from all sides, then maybe he’s not the guy for the job, not because he’s not qualified but because this specific position requires someone more neutral and closer to all sides maybe.

      You see it’s very simple. Even when you are the smartest and most resourceful person in Lebanon, sometimes you can’t pull a certain job due to the complexity of the situation, so maybe it’s time to hand it over to someone else instead of hanging on to it and lamenting that he couldn’t celebrate his wife’s birthday cause of the electricity.

      Added to that, I’ve proposed on several occasions alternative solutions to the problem that none of you bothered read or comment on. From renewable energies to mini generators distributed over key areas, to regulating generators and controlling the mafias, there are tons of stuff one can pull out. I don’t envy him for his position but if he’s really that much hated or feared from his own allies, then let him step out. Ziad Baroud did that when he felt he was being betrayed by the government no? and he’s the most competent of them all.

      All these explanations on the ships’ delay are useless because to the average citizen he was promised ships that never came. As for other ministries, I’ve pointed out to many mistakes being done and I repeat I couldn’t care nor support any of them.

      Concerning the Telecom, it’s as messed up as the electricity in terms of planning and infrastructure even though there’s money. There were many who came before Sehnaoui (Hamadeh for ex) and did nothing to improve it. So it’s not about money or not but about taking the proper initiatives.

      Oh and when I post a funny video and mention #BlameBassil it doesn’t really mean I am blaming him. It’s a joke that all Lebanese do, even those who like the guy so it’s ok to laugh every now and then.

  11. Ahmad

    Dear Najib

    I am sorry to inform you that the subject ships will not provide additional power to the Consumers (us) but to substitute for the lost generated power from some of the existing sets in jeih and zouk that will be under maintenance upon arrival of the ships . Therefore , the power supply level could be worth than before !!! Hopefully not!!! That’s why my electric plans you published before are a suitable and fast solution for the power crises


    Ahmad Habli
    Consulting Electrical Engineer

  12. Red

    I agree with you on many points.
    Regarding the ships in Pakistan they are different from the ones we are getting. Yes there are irregularities because the Turkish company couldn’t deliver the proposed generated power and the Pakistani government ceased the ships until they solve the problem.It is not in the interest of the turkish company to delay their arrival because they will pay a huge fine for the delay.
    I would like to point out that the ships contract includes a clause which states that if there were any commission paid at any point in time even for an amount as low as 500$ the Turkish company Kardeniz will pay a 25M $ fee and this is something we rarely see in previous contracts.

    As per other deals well we can’t believe the media in Lebanon but if you are pointing to The Zouk and Jieh project they accused him of closing an expensive deal ( 348 M)$ while in Deir Amar they are asking him to go for a high price of 662M $ which he declined since the allocated budget is only 502M$. Trust me he paid a high price for his refusal since Nizar Younes the owner of Butec ( partner of the Spanish co) is a barouny ally .
    Bottom line is we are losing 17M$ every day and we are suffering from sever power cuts so whoever is responsible for the delay should be held accountable.
    Take late minister Hobeika for example who managed to deliver 24/24 electricity . What Hobeika did was simple , he called Siemens and asked them to build 2 power plants , one in the South ( for Berri) and one in the North ( for Hariri). He distributed a 50M$ bribe equally to the syrian , Harriri, Berri and himself.
    Bassil could have done the same even now and he could have probably succeeded in all the projects without any opposition from Berri , Hariri , Miqati and the rest. But he probably didn’t realize it or refused to acknowledge this fact.
    If you do the math you will realize that giving these corrupt politicians bribes would possibly save the gov a 6.2 B$ a year. I am against it but It is sad to think that this is the only solution but this is a sad country.

    As per handing over the ministry to someone else i couldn’t agree more with you. Maybe they will cooperate with a more neutral minister but let us hope we will have someone as active as Bassil.

    Regarding Mr Habli’s plan:

    1- Set up 6 to 7 distributed generation plants in several areas in Lebanon capable of producing 600 to 700 Mega-Watts. These plants are less costly, allow collection of energy from many sources and may give lower environmental impacts and improved security of supply.

    600-700MW plant is considered a huge plant. if you take Zouk -Jieh or Deir Amar they are not even close to generating that amount.
    it will be better to maintain the existing plants . These plants are not optimized which means they only deliver 60% of their capacity at its best , sometimes not even 30% with a heavy operational cost since they are running on heavy fuel.
    We need to start with our existing ones , do the necessary maintenance and operate them on gas which could save us 50% ( 1 Billion $ a year)
    We can build new units inside these plants because you have to take into consideration the cost of the land which very very expensive.

    2- Launch an “Energy Exchange Project” between EDL and the private sector, in an attempt to exploit the full capacity of privately-owned generators in enterprises, hotels and other establishments. According to Habli, this could generate an additional 400 Mega-Watts and profit the private sector.

    Working with the private sector is a must but currently only EDL has the right to generate power.
    Reason is law 462 and 181 and the ” hay2at kita3 alkahraba2″ which never saw the light.
    Bassil proposed a law in 2010 to include the private sector and it has been widely opposed by Mohamad Qabbani ( He says the opposite on television )and hidden in his drawer.
    He managed to allow the private sector to generate only renewable energy and you will witness the first wind and solar farm in early 2013. Plus there is net-metering which gives individuals the right to generate energy from wind/solar using a bi-directional meter which means the additional electricity is sent to the grid and you can use it later. check for renewable energy projects and there is an ad on youtube about net-metering.

    Regarding the generators which are a mafia. We all know they are illegal but you need them.
    Bassil tried to regulate this issue but they just gave him the finger.
    There was an agreement between the ministry of energy, interior and Economy.
    MOEW will monthly release the number of hours and the KWH cost
    MOI will work with municipalities to monitor the generator with a meter inside the municipalities.
    MOE will receive the complaints ( hay2at himayet almoustahlek)
    but since most generators are owned by ra2is albaladiyeh the gov failed big time.

    You should take a look at his plan , i believe it is a good policy paper for the electrical sector .

    Finally since we are used to bad news in Lebanon, i encourage you to post about some of the positive things that were done or on the way.
    1- net-metering
    2- Wind farms – Solar Farms ( tender will be released first quarter of 2013)
    3- Solar water heaters
    4-Energy saving light bulbs …
    5-The Zouk skid ( will reduce the emission by 80%)
    6-10 Dams ( Some already started and most will start in 2013)
    7- Oils and gas ( Petroleum authority and recently the tenders + 25 M $ generated from selling data from Spectrum from the free surveys done in the water)
    8-Service providers ( the private sector is now responsible for the maintenance and bill collection of Electricity. Smart meters will be placed which will put an end to theft and loss)
    9-Hydropower projects
    10- Wells( this is an important topic, in 2008 the ministry gave license to 2000 wells while Bassil didn’t give a single license in great Beirut since 2009 till now.
    people are bribing l darak to digg illegal ones without taing into consideration the regulations ( depth …) .they are contaminating our ground water and this is the reason people are complaining abt salt water in their homes.)

    There are lots of projects and you easily get the information by contacting the ministry or even Bassil he is very active on twitter and Facebook.

  13. maya

    Mmm S ,people voted for 8 and 14 but there no other alliance because actually independents can’t agree on something here because within the candidates illa ma yitla3 som1 supporting 8 or 14 ,that’s why Lebanon needed the 1st Arab Spring but then again that wont happen ,because u are silent followers ,just nod and do ,yessss well vote 4 u :P:P:P looool,for filthy pple ,corrupt government ,u sow what u reap in the end


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