Sunday, July 02, 2006

[ePalestine] When $ is not an issue and taxpayers are in coma

Last update - 22:22 01/07/2006 

U.S. to pay $48 million to cover damages to Gaza power station 

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service 

United States officials said they expect that U.S. funds will be used to pay for the damages caused by an Israel Air Force strike Tuesday on a Palestinian power station in the Gaza Strip. The power station was insured by a U.S. government agency, according to The Boston Globe. 

The Foreign and Defense Ministry departments that oversee foreign relations were unaware of the decision to target civilian facilities in the Strip, or the decision to attack the power station. Because of this, officials did not know that the station was insured by a U.S. government agency. Israel did not inform the U.S. prior to attacking the power station. 

The power station in Gaza was built over a period of five years, at a cost of $150 million. In 1999, the Enron Corporation, along with Palestinian businessman Said Khoury, began working on the project. In 2000, Khoury's Morganti Group purchased Enron's share of the project. 

The power station began operating in 2002, reaching full commercial capacity in 2004. The owners of the power station insured it, through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, for a sum of $48 million due to "political risks." OPIC is a U.S. government authority that insures U.S. investments in developing markets. 

A spokesman for the agency said the insurance purchased by the Morganti Group covers instances of political violence, which include wars and acts of terror. 

The plant supplies electricity to some 860,000 people. 


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