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Lebanon runs out of power and will be without electricity ‘for days’

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FILE PHOTO: Electricity cables are seen in Tyre

Electricity cables are seen in Tyre

“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,” a government official said.

The state electricity company confirmed in a statement 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 is expected to take time.

Blackouts have been common since Lebanon’s 15-year civil war in 1990.

But of late, Lebanon has been paralysed by an economic crisis, which has seen the Lebanese currency fall by 90 percent since 2019.

Meanwhile, supplies of imported fuel, which the country relies on, have dried up.

Lebanon has no centrally generated electricity after fuel shortages forced its two largest power stations to shut down, plunging some six million people into darkness.

Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, although that is in short supply. Elsewhere, motorists have queued for miles to fill up their vehicles.

The crisis in Lebanon comes amid energy shortages worldwide.

India has warned its coal-fired plants may close in just three days as reserves are at record lows.

Half of the country’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data suggests.

Federal guidelines recommend coal supplies should be in stock to least two weeks.

Some northern and eastern states are already in the dark, with fears the capital New Delhi may be next.

Shortages are expected to last through the winter. Meanwhile, China is battling through its worst electricity crisis in ten years - with factories closing or operating for a few hours a day.

The crisis has been caused by the cost of coal spiking as the economy reopened post-Covid

It means power stations were operating at a loss, with some beginning to shut down as long as two weeks ago.

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