Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Widespread power outages in Lebanon as power stations dried up

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
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(Beirut) The National Electricity of Lebanon (EDL) announced that Lebanon is witnessing a general power outage on Saturday after shutting down the activity of two major power plants due to fuel shortages.

Stuck in an unprecedented crisis, described by the World Bank as one of the worst in world history since 1850, the country has been grappling with strict energy rationing for months, culminating in more than 22 hours a day, and struggling to import fuel. Against the background of the historical collapse of the national currency and the depletion of foreign currencies.

These cuts are crippling the lives of residents and many vital sectors, while private generator managers, who generally take over the responsibility, ration shops, hospitals and homes, as fuel becomes scarce.

“After the Deir Ammar station was forced to stop its electricity production yesterday morning due to the depletion of its diesel reserves, the Zahrani station was closed this afternoon for the same reason,” EDL said in a statement.

This resulted in a “complete breakdown of the grid with no possibility of recovery at the present time,” the press release adds, while other power plants in the country are operating to a minimum.

This is the second total blackout outage reported by EDL since the beginning of the month. For the first time, the network was re-established after a few days.

A source in the Ministry of Energy told AFP that efforts were being made to “find a solution to the problem.”

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EDL said in its statement that an oil tanker will arrive on Saturday evening and will be unloaded early next week.

The international community is calling on the Lebanese authorities to urgently reform, especially for the Electricité du Liban, a symbol of bad governance and the disintegration of public services in Lebanon.

The new government was formed in September after 13 months of political debate, and is committed to initiating reforms in the electricity sector and gradually restoring public authority.

Lebanon is negotiating with Egypt and Jordan to deliver gas and electricity through Syria, while the Shiite Hezbollah movement has announced several shipments of Iranian fuel oil in recent weeks to ease serious electricity and fuel shortages.

It was also agreed between the authorities and Iraq to distribute Iraqi oil to Lebanon in exchange for medical services.

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