Solar Power Plant Serving Liban Cables Industry in Nahr-IbrahimJul 14, 2017
Under the auspices of the Minister of Energy and Water, H.E Mr. Cesar Abi Khalil and the Minister of Industry, H.E. Dr. Hussein Al Hajj Hassan, in the presence of the Assistant Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr. Edgard Chehab, and the Chairman and President of Liban Cables, Mr. Bassem El-Hibri, the opening event of a large solar power plant serving Liban Cables’ Industry in Nahr Ibrahim took place on 14th of July. The 601 kilowatt-peak solar power plant was co-financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Liban Cables through the Central Bank’s NEEREA loan programme, implemented by the UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Water.
The project consists of over 1,908 solar (photovoltaic) panels generating approximately 938,000 kilowatt-hours per year, contributing to significant cost savings at Liban Cables as well as a subsequent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 751 tons per year. The GEF-funded UNDP DREG Project has been involved in the design and implementation of nearly 2.6 MW of solar electricity projects spread over 9 industrial, commercial, and residential facilities.
Minister of Industry, H.E. Dr. Hussein Al Hajj Hassan stated that the cost of production is one of the most important corporate challenges in Lebanon. He also added that labor costs are high and will not go down. Energy, in his opinion, can be exploited for the good of the companies and costs, pointing out that this project is a good example as It will lead to a decrease in energy consumption, energy bills and operational manufacturing in Lebanon.
Minister of Energy and Water, H.E Mr. Cesar Abi Khalil, represented by Mr. Ziad Al Zein, president of The Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), revealed the ministry’s upcoming plans in establishing a tender for the construction of solar plants by the private sector with a capacity of 180 MW at a rate of 45 megawatts per governorate. Mr. Zein seemed very optimistic, pointing out that 265 declarations of intent were submitted to the Minister of Energy and Water, which reflects the vitality of this sector and the large investments that awaits.
Assistant Resident Representative Mr. Edgard Chehab, stated that the installation of this large solar power plant will help Liban Cables save 8% on their diesel bills which equates to 187,000 US dollars per year and which will also result in reducing the annual greenhouse gas emissions by 751 tons or the equivalent weight of 375 cars. Mr. Chehab also added that this installation would ease the pressure on the national utility to deliver this needed power and therefore indirectly serve others in the community.
Chairman and President of Liban Cables, Mr. Bassem El-Hibri emphasized on the importance of this project in exploiting the solar energy to generate clean and free electricity and saving fuel consumption, hoping that other Lebanese industrials adopt solar energy. He also expressed his willingness to provide advice and expertise when needed.
The event was followed by a walk-through in Liban Cables, observing the solar installation from the roof and receiving a technical briefing on the system and its performance to date.