Lebanon Struggles With Blackout Amidst Fund Crutch To Pay For Crude
Lebanon– Lebanon is completely blacked out; there is a power outage thanks to its inability to generate its own electricity and to pay up outstanding bills either.
Efforts are underway for Lebanon to import gas from Egypt and use a supply mechanism of electricity from Jordan via Syria. On October 06, Jordan has fully reopened its main border crossing with Syria, a move that political experts feel like a signal to bring Syria back into the Arab fold.
The electricity grid had to cut off electricity to the entire nation because unfortunately, the two power stations that provide electricity had run out of fuel. Sadly, the al Zahrani and the Deir Ammar power stations have stopped working after diesel supplies were exhausted, and energy production dropped to below 200 megawatts.
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The blackout is said to be there for the next several days. Apparently, the country is already reeling under severe financial pressures and has been unable to pay its foreign fuel suppliers. Hezbollah has smuggled crude from Iran into Lebanon through illegal channels, violating US sanctions; something the new government would now like to steer clear off.
The Lebanese currency has been lying in rock bottom for months now. Ships carrying oil are now refusing to offload unless their previous due were cleared.
They are expecting to be paid in US dollars itself. In recent months power outages in Lebanon caused by a shortage of fuel have been affecting every aspect of daily life with empty bakeries, hospitals pushed to crisis point and family businesses struggling to survive.
Chances of illegal selling of fuel and black marketing cannot be ruled out as people are now depending on private generators only. In the past few months, fuel was being illegally bought on the Lebanese Syrian border.
A state official reportedly said the country’s national electricity company would try to use the army’s fuel oil reserve to operate the power plants temporarily, but that would “not happen anytime soon.”
Under the new leadership of PM Mikati, Lebanon can see hopeful days ahead. Right now, they have quite a lot of darkness to deal with.