In a press conference held on Monday, December 9th, caretaker Minister of Energy Nada Boustani Khouri announced that the winner of the 150-thousand-Tonne fuel import bid is ZR Energy; a leading Lebanese regional energy trader.
Minister Boustani had started a bid between fuel companies in the countries and began accepting their offers several weeks ago. The decision came after Lebanon went through a fuel crisis that saw owners of gas stations performing an open-ended strike.
The tender ended today with ZR Energy winning against three other companies presenting their offers, one of which was disqualified earlier. Minister Boustani congratulated the company for its win.
“Congratulations to the winning company and to the Lebanese people,” said Boustani. “The state has entered this market, and the most important thing is that there will not be any more gasoline crises.” She also affirmed that “the price will be in Lebanese pounds, and the same schedule for fixing the prices will be approved.”
Time-wise, Nada Boustani informed the press that the first ship should arrive in Lebanon through ZR Energy 15 days from today if everything goes according to plan.
She also encouraged all concerned companies to participate in the diesel bid that is to take place next Wednesday, December 18. She asserted, “The market is open to everyone, and any company can obtain a license from the Ministry of Energy.”
Concluding, Boustani indicated that the Ministry of Energy adopted “the highest standards of transparency” during the unsealing of offers, wishing all ministries to follow suit. She also urged every person who has any objections to provide the Ministry with relevant evidence and written complaints.
This positive step taken by the Minister of Energy is the first in the ongoing battle against the monopolism of the Lebanese fuel sector.
If a proper followthrough is done, and if the head of Lebanon’s central bank Riad Salameh does provide the promised 100% Lebanese pounds credits, the Lebanese will benefit significantly from this achievement.