On Saturday, Lebanon’s two main power stations shut down after running out of fuel, the state electricity company Electricite du Liban said.
The country now has no centrally generated electricity and the outage is expected to last for several days, according to Reuters.
People rely on pricey private generators for electricity if they can afford to do so, but even these providers have imposed power cuts, journalists report.
The country has contended with acute economic crisis since 2019 and power outages have become common.
“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,” Electricite du Liban said in a statement.
This led to the network’s ‘complete collapse without any possibility of restoring it for the time being,’ it said.
Lebanon has no centrally generated electricity after fuel shortages forced its two largest power stations to shut down, a government official told Reuters 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.
Most Beirutis rely on private generators, also known as ishtirak – but even private providers have had to impose their own power cuts for at least six hours a day, due to fuel shortages.
Those who can afford it have purchased uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backup units, batteries and a voltage regulator when both state and private electricity are not available.
The country has been experiencing successive blackouts alongside acute economic crisis.
The crisis, which began in late 2019, is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement by a post-civil war political class that has accumulated debt and done little to encourage local industries, forcing the country to rely on imports for almost everything.
The Lebanese pound has nose-dived, banks have clamped down on withdrawals and transfers, and hyperinflation has flared. The liquidity crunch is crippling the government’s ability to provide fuel, electricity and basic services.