Turkish ship ‘Aisha’ docking in south Lebanon gets name change

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Lebanon’s caretaker Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil, in a TV interview pointed fingers at the rigged and corrupted system trying to sabotage his ministry’s efforts to provide electricity to the Lebanese people who are struggling daily with power cuts amid the high summer temperatures.

Abi Khalil explained the uproar surrounding the Turkish power ship which is set to boost Lebanon’s electricity output for three months.

The ship will now likely dock in Zouk Mikael in eastern Beirut which is Christian-dominated, in order to bolster the Zouk Thermal Power Plant, after it was banned to dock in the Southern port city of Jieyyeh to sale to Zahrani which is populated by Shiite majority.

The reason for the ban was the pretext that it will pollute the area.

A power ship is a special purpose ship, on which a power plant is installed to serve as a power generation resource.

The power ship named ‘the Esra Sultan’ arrived off Lebanon’s coast in mid-July. Its docking at southern Jiyyeh coast, where there is already one power ship, was originally delayed for various reasons cited – from political pressure, to the weather and local pushback.

But Minister Abi Khalil said in the interview that “the ship has undergone a change in the name… more to that… this ship was under the name ‘Aysha’. I do not know what they did to change its name, so that they can put a power ship named ‘Aysha’ in the South... I do not want to say more…”

He further said: “They put another name of an existing power ship... the ship which they had was called ‘Aisha Sultan’ or ‘Aisha Oglo’ whatever… this is simply to have consideration…” in reference to the religious sentiments.

Senior sources in the Lebanese ministry of Electricity and Water told Al Arabiya English thatthat the ship on Monday began to sail in the direction of east Beirut where it is expected to reach Zouk port city on Wednesday.

It will start to feed power to Zouk electricity plant where electricity will be provided for Keserwan district and parts of Maten and Byblos districts.

The sources said the crisis should have nothing to do with a name of a ship.