Turkish Shipbuilder Karadeniz to Send Floating Power Station to Gaza

ISTANBUL (Reuters/Hamodia) -

Turkish shipbuilder Karadeniz Holding plans to send an electricity-generating vessel to Gaza to provide urgently needed power in the enclave after the main generating station was knocked out.

Karadeniz announced its intentions on Tuesday, shortly after Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said that a power ship — a floating power station — would be sent as soon as Gaza’s port facilities had been upgraded.

“The Palestinians have contacted the Israelis concerning the dispatching of the platform and there has been no adverse reaction from the Israeli side,” Yildiz said at a joint press conference in Ankara after a meeting with Palestinian Energy Minister Omar Kittaneh.

Karadeniz said in a statement to Reuters that it had received a request from the Palestinian authorities and that the ship would be sent within 120 days, once necessary approvals had been obtained.

The Istanbul-based company, the world’s only manufacturer of self-propelled floating power stations, already produces electricity for Iraq and Lebanon, part of its fleet of seven power ships with a combined capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Gaza’s 1.8 million residents suffer from blackouts for as long as 20 hours a day. The enclave’s only power plant is regularly switched off for weeks at a time because of fuel shortages.

Meanwhile, a fund-raising campaign to help out Gaza initiated by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claims it has reached $20.8 million according to a senior government official, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler said that “Turkey’s international development agency, or TIKA, has provided 15,000 families with food through its permanent office in Gaza.

The Turkish Red Crescent was providing medicine and generators, he said.