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Gaza's sole power plant at risk of closure

Aug. 14, 2011 5:42 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 15, 2011 5:52 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's sole power station may have to turn off one of its three generators in the coastal enclave, a company official warned Sunday.

Chief Executive Officer Walid Saad Sayel said the company would delay switching off the generator until Sunday even though it needed repairs and should have been shut down on Wednesday.

The company had reached an agreement with power authority officials in Gaza to delay the closure after they agreed to transfer $4 million to pay for spare parts, Sayel said in a statement.

A further $1 million was needed to pay Ashdod port authorities to release the parts, Sayel added.

He warned that if the clearance money wasn't paid in the coming hours, the generator would be shut off, then the two other generators and eventually the plant would be completely closed until the end of August.

The electricity company official added that the management of Ashdod port was threatening to auction off the spare parts at the end of August if the storage bill and port fees for the equipment remained unpaid.

He said if the consignment did not arrive in Gaza in the next few days, the Palestinian Authority would have to send a new request for equipment which could take several months to arrive.
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