A major power plant in Lebanon is scheduled to resume operations on Sunday, two days after it was shut down due to a lack of fuel at a time of constant power cuts and economic collapse.
Zahrani, in southern Lebanon, one of the country’s four main power plants, was disconnected on Friday because the national power company was unable to access fuel deliveries stranded offshore due to pending payments .
Electricity of Lebanon (EDL) said on Saturday that foreign correspondent banks had completed payment procedures and preparations were underway to unload the cargo on the same day.
“The Zahrani power plant will be back on line from tomorrow morning after all cargo on board the tanker has been unloaded into its tanks,” EDL said in a statement.
The national power company did not refer to the Deir Ammar power plant which was also disconnected on Friday due to fuel starvation.
Together, Deir Ammar and Zahrani provide around 40% of the country’s electricity.
Lebanon is in what the World Bank has called one of the worst economic crises since the 1850s, and the cash-strapped state is struggling to buy enough fuel to keep the lights on.
Power cuts in recent months have lasted for up to 22 hours a day in some areas, while even private generator owners have been forced to ration production as fuel prices rise, leading to periods of blackout. .
It disrupted work in businesses, government offices and hospitals.
The government’s Covid-19 vaccine committee said on Friday it had canceled a mass vaccination campaign scheduled for the weekend due to power outages in most centers.
The international community has long demanded a complete overhaul of the electricity sector, which has cost the government more than $ 40 billion since the end of the Lebanese civil war of 1975-90.
Lebanon has not had a fully functioning government since the last time it resigned following a devastating explosion in the port of Beirut last year that killed more than 200 people.
The economic crisis has seen the Lebanese pound lose over 90 percent of its value against the dollar on the black market, and have left more than half of the population living below the poverty line.
© 2021 AFP