Lebanon power supply back online after army steps in

Published : October 11, 2021 12:49 IST

A view of the city during power cuts due to the fuel shortage. Photo: AA/picture alliance

Power supplies in Lebanon have been restored after a blackout on Saturday caused by a fuel shortage. The army agreed to contribute fuel as an interim measure.

The lights are back on in Lebanon after a complete shutdown on October 9 according to the country's Energy Minister Walid Fayad. Speaking to state news agency NNA, Fayad said: "The grid has returned to its normal work." Two of the country's main power plants ground to a halt as fuel stocks ran dry, plunging the country into darkness.

Army steps in to help

October 9's shutdown came as the al-Zahrani and Deir Ammar power stations stopped operations as diesel supplies ran out. Fayad said on October 10 that the Army had fronted 6,000 liters of its own fuel reserves to kickstart operations on the plants for the next three days. The Minister also said that the central bank had approved $100 million in credit for fuel imports from Iraq.

Lebanon is in the eye of an economic meltdown, with high living costs, unemployment and rising poverty levels. Power cuts are common in Lebanon, and power generation has been a recurring issue.

Many people use generators to keep the lights on, and an ongoing fuel shortage has just meant more misery for already struggling Lebanese. Plans are afoot to try and secure electricity supplies from Jordan. However, the deals are still being negotiated and could still take some time to materialize.

kb/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)