SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 2 August 2021, Monday |

Power generator owners increase rationing hours amid worsening fuel shortages

The decades-old electricity problem caused by deep-rooted corruption have lately worsened due to fuel shortages. Power generators’ owners have increased rationing hours from two hours last month to four hours this month. Starting from Saturday, owners raised rationing to six  hours and even more in some districts, due to their failure in securing diesel from the black market.

Hajj Osama Moussa, owner of a generator told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Ibrahim Fatfat, that they are facing difficulties in securing diesel since two months. “We cannot continue in such a process, and subscribers cannot bear this situation anymore.”

“We are filling the state’s gaps, however the latter considers us oppressive, even though we are suffering more than anyone due to our responsibilities in dealing with the ministry, officials, securing diesel, spare parts, along with our accumulated expenses. The pressure has increased a lot on us and we cannot continue in that way.”

Moussa called on the ministry to secure subsidized diesel for each generator owner. He said that the operationals cost are paid in fresh dollars, stressing that if generators are turned off, people will protest and go down the street.”

Muhammad Maksoud, another generator owner said: “There is favoritism in diesel distribution.” He added that the Minister of Energy and Power Raymond Ghajar said that there isn’t any fuel shortages, and the ministry is storing it. But this is untrue, Maksoud said, adding that 120 million liters have been delivered to companies yesterday, however 90 percent of generator owners contacted the companies they deal with, which answered that the state did not provide them with diesel.

Danny Odisho, power generator owner brags in saying that there is no rationing. Odisho is well known that he is allied to the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and he receives diesel from Total and Liquigas, that are both affiliated to the FPM.  Maksoud said that either the minister is lying, or the companies, or the minister has distributed diesel to its affiliated companies.

Maksoud added that they are paying 34,000 LBP for each diesel, although its price is 31,700 LBP. “We are not objecting, but to be asked to pay 55,000 LBP for each tank, that will make us unable to continue and will lead us to turn off the generators.”