Business & Economy

Power restored in Lebanon after massive blackout

Beirut, Oct 10 (EFE).- Lebanon’s electrical grid was restored Sunday after the military tapped its reserves of gasoil to supply power plants forced to shut down by a lack of fuel, the government said.

“The network has returned to its normal operation in respect to what it what before the Deir Amar and Al Zahrani electric plants ran out of gasoil,” Energy and Water Minister Walid Fayyad said in a statement.

Those plants are Lebanon’s two largest power stations, providing some 40 percent of the electricity used in the country.

Electricity service was sporadic at best even prior to Saturday’s grid shutdown, with most households forced to make do with no more than two hours of power per day.

While bringing Deir Amar and Al Zahrani back online will not remedy the underlying problem, it will make it possible to prevent the grid from collapsing, Fayyad said.

By the end of the month, according to the statement, Lebanon will receive a substantial shipment of diesel gasoil from Iraq through a fuel-for-goods-and-services deal with Baghdad.

Lebanon’s central bank has also allocated $100 million to pay for fuel imports, Fayyad said.

Lebanon is mired in one of the world’s worst financial and economic crises of the past 150 years, according to the World Bank, which cites severe shortages of basic products as a well as a roughly 40-percent decline in per capita gross domestic product in dollar terms since 2018. EFE amo-ppa/ta/dr

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