Trade minister: French companies committed to increase, diversify investments in Saudi Arabia

Franck Riester, French minister delegate for foreign trade and economic attractiveness (L) at an event with Khalid Al-Falih is Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia (R). (Supplied)
Franck Riester, French minister delegate for foreign trade and economic attractiveness (L), at an event with Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia (R). (Supplied)
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Updated 07 April 2021

Trade minister: French companies committed to increase, diversify investments in Saudi Arabia

Trade minister: French companies committed to increase, diversify investments in Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi giga projects are a catalyst for French investments, says French Trade Minister Delegate Franck Riester
  • France would be keen to offer its proven expertise to design, build, and manage smart, sustainable cities

RIYADH: With direct investment amounting to more than €3.7 billion ($4.37 billion), France is one of the largest investors in Saudi Arabia. Projects relating to the Vision 2030 program to diversify the Saudi economy offer yet more opportunities for strengthening the bilateral partnership. France is keen to share its expertise in such fields as energy, water, transport, new technology, and aerospace.

For Saudi investors, France’s innovation ecosystem and location make it an ideal gateway for trade with the EU. Franck Riester, French minister delegate for foreign trade and economic attractiveness, touched on these issues and more during an exclusive interview with Arab News.

In particular, the minister said French companies are committed to increasing and diversifying their investments in the Saudi economy and have already identified significant opportunities, from renewable energy to healthcare to tourism.

Q. What are the key objectives of your current visit to Saudi Arabia?

A. France and Saudi Arabia have a long history of rich and fruitful cooperation, which we wish to further develop. I first visited the Kingdom in 2019 as minister of culture for the launch of the breathtaking AlUla project, highlighting the exceptional heritage of Saudi Arabia and the partnership with French cultural organizations.

I am here in Riyadh today to develop the economic relationship between France and Saudi Arabia, especially in the framework of the partnership agreed between President Emmanuel Macron and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his official visit to France on April 18, 2018.

Our two countries share the same ambition in key sectors such as the ecological transition and technological revolution. This common ground provides for concrete business opportunities. Together with my counterpart, Khaled Al-Falih, with whom I have had the pleasure to exchange regularly, we aim to give shape to the economic component of this partnership by discussing shared investment opportunities in both countries.

My current visit is another step forward in our enduring and flourishing economic relationship, and I already hope to come back to the Kingdom to fully grasp its beauty and potential.




Arab News Assistant Editor in Chief Noor Nugali presenting Minister Riester with a copy of Arab News en Francais 2020 landmark YouGov study on the status of French Arabs (AN photo)

Q. France is one of the largest investors in Saudi Arabia, with direct investment amounting to more than €3.7 billion. Do you see room for growth as Saudi Arabia diversifies its economy under Vision 2030?

A. French companies are committed to increasing and diversifying their investment in the Saudi economy, in line with the priorities of the Vision 2030 especially in renewable energy, hydrogen, water and environment, healthcare, digital economy, smart cities, and of course tourism services and infrastructure.

French companies are renowned all over the world for their know-how and expertise, which make them ideally suited to meet the high expectations of the Vision 2030 program. That includes the tech sector: I am well aware that the French tech ecosystem is not always well identified in the Middle East. And yet, our striving tech scene is one of the most innovative and dynamic in Europe and in the world, now counting 10 “unicorns” and aiming for 25 by 2022.

Q. At a time when many governments are tightening their belts, Saudi Arabia has launched projects across sectors in recent months totaling trillions of dollars. Do you see big opportunities for French companies?

A. Saudi Arabia has made the right call: The time to invest and prepare for the post-COVID-19 world is now. France is on the same page. We have launched a €100 billion recovery and investment plan to support the long-term economic development of our companies, including the green and digital transitions.

I note that France and Saudi Arabia have made the same choices for the future: Our priorities are aligned. Hence, French companies will find huge investment opportunities in those sectors in the Saudi economy.




Metro lines are seen parked at a parking station during an exclusive tour of the Riyadh Metro on April 1, 2021 in the Saudi capital. (AFP)

Q. Will French companies be investing in some of these projects, such as The Line in Neom, or do they primarily see themselves as bidders and executors of project contracts?

A. French companies have great ambition to be major partners in the giga-projects, among them, Neom, and more broadly the Red Sea Project, Amaala, Qiddiya, and AlUla projects. Unique in their scope, these projects act as a catalyst for French investments across many areas, covering new technology and innovative solutions, tourism and entertainment, arts, and culture. The unmatched track records of our industrial and technological flagships speak for themselves. Our companies offer a full array of expertise, from the early stages of any given project to its final implementation. They are used to partnering with foreign companies. I am therefore highly confident in their ability to meet the expectations of the Kingdom.

Q. The recently announced Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives call for cooperation to tackle the environmental challenges facing Saudi Arabia and the wider region. As a minister of a country that facilitated the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, what is your take?

A. We welcome and support the crown prince’s initiative. It is essential that Saudi Arabia becomes a regional and global beacon in the fight against climate change. The Green initiative sends a very positive signal in the perspective of the upcoming COP26. In recent years, France has been strongly committed to making globalization more sustainable. I believe that greening international trade is key to reach this goal, hence the need to put environmental considerations at the heart of the multilateral rules which organize trade. It is a priority we defend at the WTO with our European partners. 




French companies are committed to increasing and diversifying their investment  in the Saudi economy, in line with the priorities of the Vision 2030 especially in renewable energy, Franck Riester said. (Supplied)

Q. According to the UN Development Program’s top energy expert, Saudi Arabia could be the leader of the energy revolution of tomorrow. Do you see any role for French expertise and knowhow in such a revolution?

A. Absolutely. The French-Saudi partnership in the energy sector is deep-rooted and mutual trust in terms of expertise and innovation is high. French companies and researchers are working hard to develop with their partners the energy technologies of tomorrow, which will enable us to put the energy transition at the core of the world economic recovery, of our industrial diversification and our common strategies for massive decarbonization of our energy mixes.

For example, French firms have already had great success in accompanying Saudi Arabia with ambitious plans to massively develop renewable energies. Many more concrete joint projects are to come in the field of decarbonized energies, as we are allocating massive means in France to green our economy.

Q. Not many countries have a minister delegate for foreign trade and economic attractiveness. What do you consider to be the highlights of France’s economic attractiveness?

A. Foreign trade and economic attractiveness are two sides of the same coin: It means we implement a pro-business agenda making our economy, and the companies based in our country, more competitive, innovative, and ready to take on the world. This strategy is already bearing tangible results: In 2019, France became the leading country in Europe for inbound foreign investment, for the first time ever — and stayed strong in 2020 despite the global shock on foreign direct investment (FDI).

Investors choose France because of its core assets: A central geographical situation within the EU, a highly qualified workforce, world-class infrastructure, available and cheap energy, and a strong internal market. France is the number one country in Europe for FDI in research and development and in the industrial sector. The €100 billion “France Relance” stimulus package will make it the first green economy and innovation ecosystem in Europe. We work hard to make Saudi companies willing to expand to Europe elect France as their HQ and production hub.




Franck Riester said French companies are committed to increasing and diversifying their investments in the Saudi economy and have already identified significant opportunities. (AFP/File Photo)

Q. French expertise has traditionally been in such sectors as energy, water, transport, innovation, new technology, and aerospace. Are we missing out anything that Saudi Arabia could benefit from?

A. I am convinced that French expertise in healthcare and the dynamism of the health-tech ecosystem could greatly contribute to the Kingdom’s ambitious goals regarding the health sector, and set the foundations for a sustainable relationship between our countries. I know our companies are willing to go in that direction.

France is also one of the world’s leading agrifood exporters. Our products are renowned for their high quality, in both taste and health, as well as for their traceability. Finally, regarding Saudi Arabia’s strong ambitions in terms of urban development, France would be keen to offer more of its proven expertise and best technologies to design, build, and manage smart and sustainable cities, while meeting high environmental and quality standards.

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Twitter: @NoorNugali


Huge Titanic replica to open in China

Huge Titanic replica to open in China
Updated 3 min 44 sec ago

Huge Titanic replica to open in China

Huge Titanic replica to open in China
SUINING: The Titanic is being brought back from the deep, more than a century after its ill-fated maiden voyage, at a landlocked Chinese theme park where tourists can soon splash out for a night on a fullscale replica.
The project’s main backer was inspired to recreate the world’s most infamous cruise liner by the 1997 box office hit of the same name — once the world’s top-grossing film and wildly popular in China.
The original luxury vessel, the largest of its time and branded “unsinkable” by its owners, has become a byword for hubris ever since it plunged into the depths of the Atlantic in 1912 after striking an iceberg, leaving more than 1,500 people dead.
Investor Su Shaojun says he was motivated to finance the audacious, 260-meter-long (850-foot-long) duplicate to keep memories of the Titanic alive.
“I hope this ship will be here in 100 or 200 years,” Su said.
“We are building a museum for the Titanic.”
It has taken six years — longer than the construction of the original Titanic — plus 23,000 tons of steel, more than a hundred workers and a hefty one billion yuan ($153.5 million) price tag.
Everything from the dining room to the luxury cabins and even the door handles are styled on the original Titanic.
It forms the centerpiece of a Sichuan province theme park more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the sea.
The site features a replica of Southampton Port seen in James Cameron’s 1997 disaster epic, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s fictional character Jack swings on board after winning his ticket in a bet.
Tour buses play the film’s theme tune, Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” on repeat.
It costs up to 2,000 yuan (around $150) to spend one night on the ship for the “five-star cruise service,” Su says, adding that with a functioning steam engine guests will feel that they are really at sea.
He was so excited by the challenge that he sold his energy industry assets, including a stake in several hydropower projects, to invest in the Titanic.
But even before opening, the replica has drawn plenty of controversy.
Online users have questioned whether the famous ship would attract tourists given the disaster that struck its real-life inspiration.
Others feared it would join other ambitious Chinese building projects that turned into white elephants — including a 2008 replica of the USS Enterprise, an American aircraft carrier, which cost over $18 million and was abandoned shortly after it opened.
But Su hopes as many as five million annual visitors will come to see his Titanic.
“This tourist volume should guarantee the return of our investment,” he added.
Project manager Xu Junnian said he felt it was important to preserve the vessel’s memory.
“The greatest significance of building this ship is to carry forward and inherit the great spirit of Titanic,” he said.
Aside from the enduring appeal of the Hollywood blockbuster, the Titanic has stolen headlines in China in recent weeks with the release of a new documentary called “The Six.”
The film tells the story of a group of Chinese travelers on board when the ship sinks, of whom six survived.
But the developers are hoping to rope in some bigger names to help draw visitors.
“We’d like to invite Jack, Rose and James Cameron to the inauguration ceremony,” Su said.

Riyals, euros or dollars: Women money changers at heart of Djibouti’s street economy

Riyals, euros or dollars: Women money changers at heart of Djibouti’s street economy
Updated 35 min 20 sec ago

Riyals, euros or dollars: Women money changers at heart of Djibouti’s street economy

Riyals, euros or dollars: Women money changers at heart of Djibouti’s street economy
  • The informal sector drives around two-thirds of economic activity in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI: They are a familiar sight on the busy streets of Djibouti: women clutching handbags bulging with dollars, euros, riyals and rupees, the money changers keeping the informal economy ticking over.
Perched on plastic chairs, feet propped on wooden steps, these “sarifley” as they are locally known are vital to the global cast of migrants, traders and soldiers passing through this tiny nation at the crossroads of Africa and Arabia.
Trading in money offers a safe, reliable way especially for women to feed their families, in a conservative country where they lag men in education and literacy.
“I have it all. Euros, English pounds, Turkish lira, dollars, Indian rupees, anything,” said Medina, who offered just her first name, flashing a purse she estimated held the equivalent of one million Djiboutian francs ($5,600/€4,700) in multiple currencies.
Customers and traders alike say that economic life would suffer a lot more friction without the money changers.
Camped at Rimbaud Square, overlooked by a grand mosque in the heart of Djibouti city, Medina and three other sarifley scan the bustling crowds for customers.
Before long a young man from Yemen, the war-torn country across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait from Djibouti, approaches in a flowing white tunic and turban, wanting to change Saudi riyals.
Medina exchanged a few words with the foreigner, tapped some calculations into her phone, then counted out a wad of crumpled Djiboutian francs retrieved from the depths of her bag.
“We bring Saudi riyals with us (to Djibouti) because our currency, with the war, keeps fluctuating all the time,” said the Yemeni, slipping away into the crowd as a police car crawled by.
Refugees from Yemen, migrants en route to the Gulf, foreign troops stationed in naval bases, Ethiopian truck drivers — Djibouti is a melting pot of cultures, and currencies, on the Horn of Africa.
“We also deal with Djibouti businessmen going abroad for their work, as well as foreigners and tourists,” said Noura Hassan, another sarifley in the capital.
When her husband died a decade ago, the mother-of-three started out with just her savings in francs, before acquiring more currencies.
Every day, Hassan refers to a printout from the local bank to gauge exchange rates and determines what to offer customers for the major currencies.
“It is a good job, and I am proud of it,” said the money changer, wearing a blue veil and black abaya, the traditional floor-length tunic worn by Muslim women.
In PK12, a busy neighborhood where many Ethiopians live, Ahmed jumped out of his tuk-tuk to change some Ethiopian birr on the roadside.
“The difference might be 10 or 20 francs, it’s not much,” said the rickshaw driver about the street rates compared to those officially on offer.
But those exchange offices are far away — whereas the sarifley are on every corner and marketplace.
“Without them, I would say that trade in PK12 would not be possible,” said Faiza, who sells khat, the popular narcotic plant that is a daily staple in Djibouti and other parts of the Horn.
“They make sure to feed their families ... We help each other like that,” the 25-year-old trader said.
The informal sector drives around two-thirds of economic activity in Djibouti, said researcher Abdoulkader Houssein Mohamed from the Djibouti Center for Studies and Research (CERD).
Of those engaged in the sector, three-quarters are women, he added.
Safety might be a concern, but in a country of just under one million inhabitants, even the capital feels like a village, the sarifley said — a reassurance when your line of work requires carrying bundles of cash on the streets.
Zahra, one sarifley in the city, said of thieves: “They don’t come near us. They are afraid.”
She also wasn’t too concerned about being scammed by a forger or unscrupulous seller trying to palm off counterfeit cash.
“Even if I was asleep and you handed me a forgery, I would know... Counterfeit cash, I’ll know. The real thing, I know. That’s my job isn’t it?“


Musk tweets, doge leaps and bitcoin retreats

Musk tweets, doge leaps and bitcoin retreats
Updated 53 min 4 sec ago

Musk tweets, doge leaps and bitcoin retreats

Musk tweets, doge leaps and bitcoin retreats
  • Markets have gyrated to Musk tweets for months since his interest in dogecoin sparked a hundred-fold rally

SINGAPORE: Bitcoin was pinned near its lowest in more than two months on Friday and headed for its worst week since February, while dogecoin leapt by a fifth as tweets from Tesla boss Elon Musk sent the two cryptocurrencies on a wild ride.
Markets have gyrated to Musk tweets for months since his interest in dogecoin sparked a hundred-fold rally in the previously ignored token’s value this year, while Tesla’s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase helped it break past $50,000 in February.
Yet in an equally surprising U-turn he dented the world’s biggest cryptocurrency this week after announcing Tesla stopped accepting bitcoin in payment owing to environmental concerns, making investors uneasy about Musk’s influence on crypto prices.
Bitcoin is down nearly 15 percent this week at $49,804.
Dogecoin is down about a third since last Friday, having tumbled after Musk referred to it as a “hustle” on Saturday Night Live. It then jumped 20 percent after his latest comments that he was involved in work to improve its efficiency.
“Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising,” Musk said on Twitter, vaulting dogecoin from about $0.43 to $0.52 on the Binance exchange.
It was unclear if Musk was referring to efficiency in terms of energy use, ease of use or suitability as a currency, said Mark Humphery-Jenner, an associate professor of finance at the University of New South Wales business school in Sydney.
Dogecoin consumes 0.12 kilowatt hours of electricity per transaction compared with 707 for bitcoin, according to data center provider TRG, but it is near impossible to use it to buy anything.
Almost worthless in late 2020, dogecoin is the latest darling of a frenzy gripping crypto markets that began last year as institutional investors announced big bitcoin purchases.
It has surged to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Second-biggest cryptocurrency ether has also soared more than 400 percent this year. It last sat at $3,865, steady for the week so far.
The huge moves have begun to attract regulatory scrutiny, and a Bloomberg report on Thursday which said major exchange Binance was under Justice Department investigation in the US added to some of the price pressure on cryptos this week.
Musk’s tweets and the market’s response may also invite attention, said Edward Moya, an analyst at brokarage OANDA.
“Tesla is drawing tremendous scrutiny for Musk’s cheerleading of Bitcoin,” he said. “If Tesla unveils a bet on dogecoin, regulators may have their eyes on Musk.”
Others, however, say the market might be more comparable to an old fashioned bubble.
“Dogecoin remains a lesson in greater fool theory,” said David Kimberley, analyst at investing app Freetrade, which posits that buying overpriced assets can be profitable, so long as there is a “greater fool” to buy them at ever higher prices.
“It’s being pumped by people that want to get rich quick (and Elon Musk),” he said.


Egypt’s road building drive eases jams but leaves some unhappy

Egypt’s road building drive eases jams but leaves some unhappy
Updated 14 May 2021

Egypt’s road building drive eases jams but leaves some unhappy

Egypt’s road building drive eases jams but leaves some unhappy
  • Infrastructure push aims to galvanize economy
  • Experts say structural economic problems remain

CAIRO: At weekends, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is often driven out to a road construction site in Cairo where he is pictured surveying stretches of recently poured asphalt and being briefed by workers.
The highways and bridges he inspects are the most visible part of a big infrastructure push meant to galvanize Egypt’s economy after decades of rapid population growth and unplanned building.
Led by the government and the military, it includes several new cities and one million low-cost homes and has helped pull Egypt through the economic shock of the pandemic and remain in growth last year.
But there is a cost. Some of those displaced by new roads are unhappy at losing their homes, others at seeing their neighborhoods suddenly transformed. Analysts question how much difference the infrastructure boom can make while structural economic problems persist.
One area of intense activity is eastern Cairo, where new roads and bridges scythe through the urban sprawl toward a futuristic capital under construction in the desert and due to open this year.
In the Ezbet el-Hagana neighborhood, drilling machines and diggers are laying out an intersection that cuts through cheap, informal housing, of which hundreds of units have been demolished to make way for the road.
When El-Sisi visited in February, he met ministers in front of unpainted brick housing blocks and discussed how half Egypt’s population of 100 million lived in similar conditions. Afterwards, El-Sisi announced it would be renamed “Hope City.”
But residents of Ezbet el-Hagana, many of whom moved from rural areas and built apartments and livelihoods, say they worry about the uncertainty.
Ali Abdelrehim, a 52-year-old father of four, said his house was not at immediate risk but others might suffer if authorities carry out the president’s suggestion to widen the area’s narrow streets.
“These changes worry people,” he said, adding that business at his carpentry shop has slowed to a trickle as people stop work on homes that risk demolition.
Hosni Ali, a 34-year-old selling tomatoes from a donkey cart, said a storage room he rented was demolished because of the new roadworks. “Everyone here is scared ... everything is on hold,” he said.
Across eastern Cairo and beyond, long-delayed road projects are racing ahead. As much as 1.1 trillion Egypt pounds ($70 billion) will be spent on transport in the decade to 2024, one third of that on roads and bridges, the transport minister has said.
Officials present the road building as part of efforts to develop informal areas across Egypt, connecting them to transport networks and basic services. They say those displaced will be compensated or resettled.
Some of those moved from Ezbet el-Hagana have been allocated furnished housing in Ahlina, a new district on Cairo’s outskirts with a youth center and playgrounds, and residents say conditions are good. But they have to pay rent and some have lost access to work.
“The problem is money, and life is expensive,” said 75-year-old pensioner Sabri Abdo, whose son is a motor rickshaw driver. “Before this I lived in my own property and didn’t pay rent. No one knows my son here, so things aren’t working for him like they were over there.”
The east Cairo governor’s office, which oversees the area, was not available for comment.
The road building surge – social media posts dub Egypt “the republic of roads and bridges” – has triggered disquiet for other reasons.
Bridge and road building near the pyramids, around Cairo’s “cities of the dead” where people live among old family tombs, and in the genteel neighborhood of Heliopolis, has alarmed conservationists.
Commuting in and out of Heliopolis has become quicker but the character of the neighborhood had changed for residents, said Choucri Asmar, head of volunteer group Heliopolis Heritage Foundation.
“They cannot walk in the street anymore, they can’t cross the street anymore, they cannot see trees from their balconies every afternoon with the birds,” he said.
Asked for a response to complaints about the road and bridge program on TV earlier this year, El-Sisi said no sector – including health, education, agriculture and manufacturing – was neglected.
“We need to do this so we can make people’s lives easier, so we can reduce the amount of lost time, people’s stress and the fuel being used causing more pollution,” he said.
A World Bank study in 2014 estimated the costs of congestion in greater Cairo at 3.6 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product, far higher than some other big cities – though it warned that building more roads and bridges would not solve the problem.
While tens of billions of dollars are being spent on roads in eastern Cairo, the new capital in the desert and a summer capital on the north coast at El Alamein, roads elsewhere are often under-maintained, mass transit limited and public services patchy.
Like other motorists, Hesham Abu Aya, a 51-year-old taxi driver with three daughters, said new roads had eased the traffic crisis but he had to pay 7,500 Egyptian pounds ($480) to fix his car after hitting a pothole.
“If I want the state to spend on something other than bridges and roads, it would be health care,” he said.
Egypt suffers from lack of research and development and barriers to private sector expansion, said Yezid Sayigh, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Middle East Center. “Behind all the investment in real estate or in infrastructure, there’s very little investment in the rest of the productive economy.”
Those with a record in the sector tend to get contracts from military and other state agencies directing the infrastructure drive and can secure financing from banks, said Shams Eldin Yousef, Chairman of Al-Shams Contracting Company and a board member of Egypt’s construction federation.
His company has picked up business through the road projects but he wonders how long the boom will last.
“If a wheel that is moving at this speed and on this scale stops, it will be a problem,” he said.


Turkey’s Karpowership says it is shutting down power to Lebanon

Turkey’s Karpowership says it is shutting down power to Lebanon
Updated 45 min 6 sec ago

Turkey’s Karpowership says it is shutting down power to Lebanon

Turkey’s Karpowership says it is shutting down power to Lebanon
  • The company provides electricity to Lebanon from two barges
  • Move piles fresh pressure on the battered economy

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Karpowership, which provides electricity to Lebanon from two barges, said on Friday it was shutting down supplies over payment arrears and a legal threat to its vessels amid the country’s economic crisis.
The company, which supplies 370 megawatts (MW), or about a quarter of Lebanon’s supply, had told the government this week it would have to shut down in the absence of moves toward a settlement.
The shutdown threatens longer daily power cuts across the heavily indebted nation, which did not have enough capacity to meet demand even before Karpowership’s move on Friday.
Many people rely on private generators or struggle for several hours a day without power.
In a statement, the company, a unit of Kardeniz, said it was shutting down supplies on Friday. A source familiar with the situation said the step was taken at about 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), as the vessels’ fuel had been running down.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said arrears exceeded $100 million, and added that the government had not reached out for talks or to try and resolve a legal case, despite the firm’s repeated appeals meant to avert a shutdown.
Lebanon’s Finance Ministry said it had been notified by the Turkish firm and cited a lawmaker saying that the country could face “total darkness” in case of a shut-off. It has made no public statement about any talks.
A Lebanese prosecutor threatened this month to seize the barges and fine the firm after Lebanese TV channel Al-Jadeed reported corruption accusations over the power contract.
The firm denies the charges.
At the weekend, it said it had not been paid for 18 months, a period coinciding with the financial crunch, and added that it sought a “reasonable solution” to maintain generation.
Each of its barges has capacity of 202 MW, against a contract to supply a total of 370 MW.
An industry source said Lebanon’s total capacity was about 2,200 MW, including the barges, but was only generating a total of 1,300 MW, including the Turkish supplies of 370 MW. Lebanon’s peak demand in 2020 was 3,500 MW, the source said.

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