The people of Lebanon have been without electricity since Friday. The reason is the lack of fuel for energy generation in the two largest power plants in the country, the state-owned company Electricite du Liban announced on Saturday. Other power plants in the country are operating at a minimal level.
Lebanon is plunged into a crisis, described by the World Bank as one of the largest since 1850. The country has experienced draconian electricity rationing, reaching 22 hours a day, with difficulties in importing fuel due to the historic collapse of the national currency and the drying up of foreign exchange inflows.
Power shortages paralyze the lives of the population and many key sectors of the economy.
The two largest power plants are closed
The shutdowns of the Deir Ammar plant on Friday morning and the Zahrani plant on Saturday afternoon were due to the exhaustion of diesel reserves, Electricite du Liban reported. This led to “a complete collapse of the network without the possibility of restoring it at the moment,” she said, adding that other power plants in the country are operating at a minimum level.
EDL also said the oil tanker is due to arrive in Lebanon and be unloaded early next week. Lebanon Energy Minister Walid Fajad said he would ask the army for urgent supplies of fuel from its stocks.
The announcement of reforms
The government, formed in Lebanon after 13 months of political quarrels, has pledged to implement reforms in the energy sector.
Lebanon is negotiating gas and electricity supplies via Syria with Egypt and Jordan, and the Shi’ite movement, Hezbollah, has announced Iranian fuel supplies in recent weeks to alleviate its severe shortages in the country. The Lebanese authorities also reached an agreement with Iraq on the supply of oil in return for medical services.
Main photo source: Reuters