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Monday, October 18, 2021

Lebanon: Power restored after empty fuel stations caused total blackout in Beirut

Lebanon’s power supplies have returned to normal following a blackout caused by the country’s two largest power stations shutting down because of a fuel shortage.

The energy ministry said it had received central bank approval for $100m (£73m) in credit to issue fuel import tenders for electricity generation.

It said the country’s grid had resumed supplying the same amount of electricity as before the complete outage.

A fuel shortage has triggered an electricity outage in Lebanon
Image:
A fuel shortage triggered an electricity outage in Lebanon

Lebanon’s two largest power stations, Zahrani and Deir Ammar, shut down due to fuel shortages on Saturday, bringing down the country’s entire power network.

On Saturday evening, the Lebanese army agreed to provide 6,000 kilolitres of gas oil split equally between the two power stations, the state electrical company said in a statement carried by the official National News Agency.

On Sunday evening, Lebanon’s LBCI TV said the energy ministry had informed importers it will issue new prices for fuel oil and natural gas on Monday to solve distribution problems.

Lebanon is suffering an energy crisis that has been compounded by dwindling supplies of imported fuel.

The issues come as the Lebanese people struggle with job losses, soaring prices and hunger amid a financial meltdown.

The UN estimates 78% of the country are living in poverty.

A customer uses her phone's torch light in a grocery store near the town of Bhamdoun
Image:
A customer uses her phone’s torch light in a grocery store near the town of Bhamdoun

Lebanon’s economic crisis has seen the Lebanese currency fall 90% since 2019.

Many Lebanese people typically rely on private generators that run on diesel, though that is also in short supply.

In September, a man died after swallowing petrol he was siphoning from his vehicle’s fuel tank.

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