October 18. 2021. 5:20

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Lebanon’s electricity network ‘completely’ offline, says government

The Lebanese state electricity company confirmed that the thermoelectric plant at the Zahrani power station (marked above, south of Beirut) had stopped operating. Photograph: Google Street View

Lebanon has no centrally generated electricity after oil fuel oil shortages forced its two largest power stations to shut down, a government official said on Saturday.

“The Lebanese power network completely stopped working at noon today, and it is unlikely that it will work until next Monday, or for several days,” the official said.

The state electricity company confirmed in a statement that the thermoelectric plant at the Zahrani power station had stopped. The Deir Ammar plant stopped on Friday.

The shutdown of the two power stations had “directly affected the stability of the power network and led to its complete outage, with no possibility of resuming operations in the meantime”, the statement said.

The state electricity company will try to use the army’s fuel oil reserve to operate the power plants temporarily, but that will not happen any time soon, the official said.

Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, although that is in short supply.

Lebanon has been paralysed by an economic crisis which has deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up. The Lebanese currency has fallen by 90 per cent since 2019. – Reuters