Lebanon faces more power outages as generators run out of fuel


The electricity crisis is so acute that the lights went out in a building owned by the Foreign Ministry, forcing employees to stop work, according to local media.

This photo taken on June 23, 2021 shows a view of a mesh of elevated power lines along a street on the outskirts of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. (AFP)

Owners of private generators that provide a vital safeguard to Lebanon’s dilapidated power grid have warned of their own cuts due to lack of fuel as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

The crisis is so acute that on Wednesday the lights went out in a building belonging to the Foreign Ministry, forcing employees to stop working, Lebanese media reported.

Generator owners in several regions began telling customers on Wednesday that they would not be able to provide electricity due to lack of fuel oil [fuel]”, a widely used petroleum derivative,” said Abdu Saadeh, leader of a union of generator owners.

“We warned at the end of last week that stocks would start to run out … and so far we have not found a solution.”

The national grid managed by Electricité du Liban is prone to power outages and in some areas can only provide electricity for two hours a day.

This forces many Lebanese to pay a separate bill for backing up neighborhood generators run by private companies.

As the Lebanese economy faces its worst crisis in a generation and the currency plummets, private suppliers have warned they are struggling to get enough fuel to keep operating.

The world’s worst financial crises

Lebanon has been rocked since the fall of 2019 by an economic crisis which, according to the World Bank, is expected to be among the worst financial crises in the world since the mid-19th century.

The collapse sparked outrage among the Lebanese political class, seen as terribly corrupt and unable to cope with the country’s many difficulties.

Authorities blamed current fuel shortages on storage by traders and an increase in fuel smuggling into Syria.

Several people have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling in recent weeks, police said.

The central bank has set up a mechanism to subsidize fuels up to 85 percent, but fuel importers have accused it of failing to implement the program.

The head of public internet provider Ogero warned that power cuts could also threaten Lebanon’s access to the web.

Source: AFP


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