Lebanon May Face Major Energy Crisis if State Power Producer Cannot Buy Fuel – Reports
Beirut – Lebanon’s state energy company, Électricité du Liban (Electricity of Lebanon; EDL), may become unable to purchase the required fuel for the operation of power plants over internal political issues, which can eventually result in a massive energy crisis if the necessary steps on the matter are not taken, a source in the Lebanese Ministry warned.
“If we do not have fuel, we will not have electricity. There are solutions, but they are all linked to political decisions, both within the country and outside of it. And, of course, we need a government. Without a government, there is a problem. Partially, yes, [it is linked] to the formation of a government and the availability of [budgetary] allocations,” the source was quoted as saying by several media outlets.
Lebanon has recently seen a severe shortage of electricity, with the population being provided with energy only for four hours a day. The rest of the time people are forced to buy electricity from owners of private power generators at higher prices. On Thursday, the EDL announced the arrival of ships loaded with fuel to Lebanese ports, what can gradually help to restore the electricity supply.
In late February, the Al Akhbar newspaper reported, citing Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar, that the remaining funds from the last year’s budget would be enough for the company to provide power plants with power until the end of March. Meanwhile, owners of private electrical generators warn the population that they are technically unable to compensate for 15-20 hours per day as an alternative to the state power producer.
Lebanon has been undergoing the most severe economic crisis in its modern history, with a bloated banking sector and endemic government corruption sending the currency tumbling down 80% of its value against the US dollar.