News World news Lebanon The Turkish ‘power ship’ keeping the lights on in Lebanon

Source: The Guardian

The Fatmagül Sultan – the centrepiece of a project aimed at helping power generation in developing countries. Photograph: Guardian

Moored at a specially constructed dock 100 metres off the coast of Beirut, a huge hulk of a ship rises impressively at dusk against the fading pinks and blues of the western sky. But this is not a US aircraft carrier or foreign warship sent to keep an eye on politically fragile Lebanon; its purpose is more peaceful, but in its way, equally dramatic.

The ship, the Fatmagül Sultan, is the centrepiece of an innovative project to overcome chronic electricity shortages in developing countries struggling to meet expanding demand. Known as a “power ship”, the Turkish-owned and operated vessel with 11 towering steel stacks or chimneys resembles a sort of floating Battersea power station.

It arrived off Beirut earlier this year under a $370m, three-year deal agreed between Lebanon’s government and the Turkish energy company, Karadeniz Holding. After securing a supply of heavy fuel oil and hooking up to Lebanon’s national grid, the ship is delivering 188MW of electricity daily. This total is expected to rise to 270MW in June, when a second Turkish power ship arrives off Beirut.

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