SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 August 2021, Tuesday |

More blackouts expected as Lebanon private generators starved of fuel

Owners of private generators warned on Wednesday of their more power cuts due to shortage of fuel as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

The national network run by Electricité du Liban (EDL) is prone to blackouts and in some areas only manages to provide power for two hours a day. This situation forces many Lebanese to pay a separate bill for a backup from private generators.

With the Lebanese economy facing a stifling crisis and devaluation, private suppliers have warned they are battling to secure enough fuel to keep running.

The crisis is so firm that on Wednesday the lights went out in a building belonging to the foreign ministry, forcing employees to stop work, Lebanese media reported.

“Generator owners in several regions started telling customers on Wednesday that they would not be able to provide electricity for lack of diesel,” a widely used petrol derivative, said Abdu Saadeh, head of a syndicate for generator owners.

“We had warned late last week that the stocks would start running dry… and so far we haven’t found a solution.”

Officials have blamed the current fuel shortages on stockpiling by traders and a surge of fuel smuggling into Syria.

Several people have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling in recent weeks, according to the police.

The head of public internet provider Ogero has warned that electricity cuts could also threaten Lebanon’s access to the web.