Lebanon hit by nationwide electricity outage after two of the country’s main power plants ran out of fuel.
The Middle Eastern state plunged into total blackout on Saturday 9 October, leaving its population of six million dependent on private diesel-powered generators for power.
According to the state electricity provider Électricité du Liban, the outage came after two generation stations ran out of diesel and went offline.
The two plants provide around 40% of Lebanon’s supplies and their mothballing led to a 200 MW drop in energy production.
“After the Deir Ammar power station was forced to stop producing power yesterday morning (Friday) due its gasoil reserves running out, the Zahrani plant also stopped this afternoon for the same reason.”
– Statement from Électricité du Liban
Total blackout: There is no more electricity in the whole country after the two largest oil-powered power plants in Lebanon were forced to shut down due to a lack of fuel.— ∼Marietta (@ThisIsMarietta) October 9, 2021
The power outage will last for days.#Lebanon #Blackout pic.twitter.com/mZB6sDTpSj
It is thought that the country, which is in the midst of an ongoing economic and political crisis, couldn’t pay overseas energy suppliers due to a lack of foreign currency.
Ships carrying oil and gas had refused to dock until they’d received payments for their deliveries.
Even before the complete outage, much of Lebanon was already struggling for electricity supplies, with many residents restricted to just an hour or two of electricity a day.
On Sunday 10 October, the energy ministry announced that the country’s central bank had granted $100 million of credit to buy fuel.
However, it is expected to take days to restart the power grid.