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LIMS Intensifies the Campaign to Reform Electricity: The Very Last Meters
In March 2019, LIMS launched a preemptive media campaign in anticipation of the updated government's electricity plan.
The Government Does Not Have Money To Spend on Power-Ships
March 14, 2019- Al-Manar Television, Beirut, Lebanon
 
In an interview on prime-time news, Dr. Patrick Mardini stated that renting power ships to produce energy may still be present in the government’s updated plan. However, the Lebanese government is unable to pay for the power ships’ rent, let alone paying for the fuel for these power ships. Also, the choice of electricity supplier should be made after going through the Tenders Department who would ensure fair competition in the tendering process.
Click Here to Watch the Interview in Arabic
Allowing Private Companies into Power Sector Would Resolve Electricity Problem in Lebanon
March 8, 2019- VDL Radio Station, Beirut, Lebanon
 
Government-run Electricité du Liban (EDL) requested from the treasury department a subsidy for 3300 billion Lebanese pounds for 2019. “It isn’t acceptable for EDL who has a monopoly over production, transmission, and distribution of electricity in all of Lebanon to make losses,” stated Dr. Mardini in his interview with VDL radio. The electricity, where half the production gets wasted, is responsible for 45% of public debt driving Lebanon to the brink of bankruptcy—and those expected losses for the next year will accelerate Lebanon’s march towards it. Allowing private companies to enter the sector and generate electricity themselves instead of relying on the failed EDL, would offer customers a more reliable power supply.
Click Here to Listen to the Interview in Arabic
Halt Government Investment in Electricity
March 20, 2019- MTV Television, Beirut, Lebanon
 
In an interview on prime-time news, Dr. Mardini discussed the pros and cons of the forthcoming electricity plan. Changing the type of fuel from oil to gas, lowering power waste, and improving bill collection are all reforms going in the right direction. However, The Lebanese government should not spend money on increasing investment in electricity production before making those changes. He also warned about imposing on the different bidders a quick solution that would lead to expensive electricity supply and explained that a cost efficient solution would require time.
Tides Shifting in Favor of LIMS’ Reform Suggestions
March 22, 2019- VDL Radio Station, Beirut, Lebanon
 
A victory for LIMS is looming in the horizon as the Ministry of Energy and Water expressed its openness to the idea of having independent power producers (IPP). In an interview, Dr. Mardini insisted on the importance of letting those private companies invest their own funds into electricity production. They would be capable of producing power for less than half the cost than the government would have to pay for power ships. On the other hand, he warned about the possible barriers to entry that might be inflicted on those private energy companies, through an unfair call for tender. Therefore, the focus should be on the way the tender is conducted. 
Click Here to Listen to the Interview in Arabic
LIMS Pushing for IPPs as Electricity Reform Plan
March 21, 2019- Al Kalima Online Magazine, Beirut, Lebanon
 
In his interview, Dr. Mardini explained that the government’s updated plan is divided into 2 parts: a short-term solution that requires quick and high-cost power generation facilities; and a long-term solution focused on building new power plants. The short-term solution is inappropriate because, on the short run, the focus should be on improving the network and distribution. As for the long-term solution, the government cannot bear the cost of building new power plants and therefore the cost should be shifted to the private sector, who should be allowed to invest in electricity production.
Click Here to Read the Article in Arabic
LIMS Encourages the Government to Allow IPPs to Operate
March 30, 2019- An-Nahar Newspaper, Beirut, Lebanon
 
Dr. Mardini declared in an interview that the Ministry of Energy and Water is considering allowing IPPs to build power plants on their own expenses, saving the government the cost of investment. Minister Boustani should be congratulated for this reform that is heading in the right direction. He added that the contract of electricity distributors in Lebanon should also be changed from distribution service providers (DSPs) to electric distribution companies (EDCs). An EDC contract would have distributors buy electricity from IPPs and sell it to end-users without going through EDL, which gives them enough incentive to improve bill collection and reduce technical losses. In this case, any uncollected bills or power wastage will be taken on by EDCs instead of the government.
Click Here to Read the Article in Arabic
Stay Tuned, our next newsletter will focus on how Lebanon finally adopted a suitable electricity reform.
Independent Water Producers can Provide Clean Water at Best Price
March 12, 2019- An-Nahar Newspaper, Beirut, Lebanon
 
The Government decided to pursue the construction of a water dam in Bisri, despite the local community’s objections, under the pretext that the World Bank approved the project. The dam will cost $617 million of taxpayers money and will be storing contaminated water from sewers. Senior policy analyst at LIMS, Mr. Majdi Aref, proposed handing over the acquisition, construction, and management of the Bisri Dam to a private company that would be able to supply clean water to 1.6 million residents of Greater Beirut, at no cost to the government.
Click Here to Read the Article in Arabic
Promoting Social Cohesion and Peace Building 
March 15, 2019- LIMS’ Offices, Tripoli, Lebanon
 
Local and international NGO’s gathered at LIMS’ offices to discuss women’s role in counter-radicalization. NGOs presented their work and some of their accomplishments in the related field. Some highlighted the importance of women in promoting social cohesion and personal freedom, as well as their role in peace building and conflict resolution. Others stressed on improving prison conditions, especially for refugees. Focusing on making local women more productive in society was also discussed.
Click Here to View the Photos
The “Inspired” 2019 Asia Liberty Forum
March 1, 2019- Hilton Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
 
Over 270 people gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka for a 2-day event focused on how a rich history of liberty helped reduce poverty in the region, and how to continue this legacy for the future. The director of LIMS, Ms. Kristelle Mardini, highlighted the importance of traditional media in promoting market-oriented ideas despite the emerging role of social media. Discussions centered on the idea of making Sri Lanka the new Singapore, as it has all the needed talents and characteristics.
Click Here to View the Photos
LIMS Leaders' Academy
#LLA2019
  • LLA101: Connect to Prosperity
    April 10 until May 17, 2019 - Webinar
     
  • LLA201: Economic Foundations of a Free & Prosperous Lebanon
    June 15 - 16, 2019 - Workshop in Beirut
     
  • LLA301: Shaping Public Policy
    July 20 - 21, 2019 - Workshop in Beirut
     
  • LLA401: Policy Fair
    Date TBA - Event
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