Lebanon News

EDL reduces electricity coverage after govt fails to secure fuel

Electricity cables are seen in Burj Hammoud. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: The government’s failure to secure funds to buy extra fuel oil for Lebanon’s power plants has led Electricite du Liban to reduce electricity coverage in parts of the country, an EDL source said Friday.

“We knew this problem was coming, and we have been asking the relevant ministries to find a solution to this for more than a year. We’ve sent over 20 written requests. I don’t know why nothing happened,” the source told The Daily Star.

The source said that the energy supply had already been tapered off by more than 200 megawatts, or about 10 percent of Lebanon’s total energy capacity, as part of precautionary measures taken by EDL in light of its dwindling fuel reserves.

Beirut has continued to enjoy 21 hours of state-supplied electricity a day, the source said, while the rest of the country has seen large decreases in recent days – though the source could not specify exactly how many more hours of power cuts this has translated into. The decrease in state-supplied electricity will continue incrementally, the source added.

While a decree published in the Official Gazette on Oct. 18 allowed for LL642 billion ($426 million) to be provided to EDL for the purpose of buying fuel, caretaker Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil told The Daily Star that Parliament needed to pass legislation to give the finance minister the power to disburse the funds as extra-budgetary spending.

 

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