Lebanon hit by major power outage expected to last several days

Battling an economic crisis, Lebanon has in recent months struggled to import enough fuel oil for its power plants

In this Monday, 29 March, 2021 file photo, the capital city of Beirut remains in darkness during a power outage as the sun sets, in Lebanon. [Photo: AP]
Lebanon has no centrally generated electricity after fuel shortages forced its two largest power stations to shut down, a government official told Reuters on Saturday.

“The Lebanese power network completely stopped working at noon today, and it is unlikely that it will work until next Monday, or for several days,” the official said.

The state electricity company confirmed in a statement that the thermoelectric plant at the Zahrani power station had stopped. The Deir Ammar plant stopped on Friday.

The shutdown of the two power stations had “directly affected the stability of the power network and led to its complete outage, with no possibility of resuming operations in the meantime,” the statement said.

The state electricity company will try to use the army’s fuel oil reserve to operate the power plants temporarily, but that will not happen anytime soon, the official said.

Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, although that is in short supply.

Lebanon has been paralysed by an economic crisis which has deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up. The Lebanese currency has fallen by 90% since 2019.

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