Lebanon’s Electricity Company Warns of Nationwide Blackout by End of September

Lebanon’s Electricity Company Warns of Nationwide Blackout by End of September

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Lebanon's state electricity company said on Thursday it risked a total blackout across the country by end-September as its fuel oil reserves dwindle.

The company said that the country is at “high” risk of being plunged into a total blackout by the end of the month as the Middle Eastern nation’s fuel supplies shrink rapidly.

In a statement released on Thursday, Electricite Du Liban revealed that it was down to its last remaining stocks, delivering the grim message that it can only generate less than 500 megawatts of electricity with the fuel secured from Iran.

According to the notice, “the network already experienced total blackouts across the country seven times and if this continues there is a high risk of reaching total and complete blackout by end September.”

Reserves of both its Grade A and Grade B fuel oil have reached a critical point and had been exhausted for some plants that have now ceased production, the release outlined.

Tehran has previously expressed interest in sending more fuel to economically crippled Beirut, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh saying that the Islamic Republic cannot bear to “watch the suffering of the Lebanese people.”

Reporting on Wednesday, the al-Mayadeen television network said that a fifth shipment carrying Iranian fuel arrived in Lebanon. The shipment was passing through the Syrian border into Lebanon.

The shipments have been reaching Lebanon in the face of the US’s sanctions targeting both the Islamic Republic and the country.

The US re-imposed its sanctions on Iran in 2018 after illegally leaving a historic nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world countries.

It has been enforcing similar measures against Lebanon for more than a year to pressure the country over influence wielded in its political and military sectors by Hezbollah. In the 2000s, the movement fought off two major wars on Lebanon that had been waged by the Israeli regime, Washington’s most treasured ally in the region.

The sanctions have taken huge toll on the Lebanese economy, leading to acute shortage of staples, including gasoline and diesel.

Hezbollah has, however, vowed that the country would keep importing Iranian fuel, pledging not to allow Washington to further interfere with the Lebanese people’s livelihoods.

Two of the country’s main power plants, which provide around 40% of the state’s electricity, shut down in July as foreign banks had not yet signed off transactions permitting Electricite Du Liban to unload two fuel imports.

Aside from severe power shortages, Lebanon is experiencing severe economic instability. The World Bank Lebanon Economic Monitor said in June that the nation’s financial depression was one of the most severe since the mid-19th century.

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