Electricity Is Restored in Lebanon, as Army Supplies Emergency Fuel
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon’s sputtering national electricity grid went back online on Sunday after the army provided emergency fuel supplies to the government, temporarily easing a daylong outage that served as a reminder of the country’s economic collapse.
The two main power plants, chronically short of fuel, were providing only a few hours of electricity per day before Saturday, when they ran out of fuel and stopped working completely.
Walid Fayyad, the energy minister, said in a statement that the army had supplied fuel from its reserves to the power plants, Zahrani and Deir Ammar, and that the network had resumed “normal” operation — suggesting it would go back to producing a few hours of power per day.
Even so, the emergency supplies are expected to last only a few days. Mr. Fayyad said that Lebanon’s central bank had freed up $100 million to be used to import fuel, which would help raise electricity generation by the end of the month.
He thanked the defense minister, the army commander and the leaders of Electricité du Liban, the national energy company, for their “rapid response to reconnecting the electrical network.”
The outage on Saturday had little immediate effect on the lives of most Lebanese, who have grown accustomed to blackouts and fuel shortages as the country suffers one of the gravest economic crises in recent history. The government has struggled to import fuel as the national currency has shed 90 percent of its value in the past two years. Prices for many goods have tripled.
Lebanese who can afford it rely on private generators for electricity, but even those have begun to go dark as fuel supplies grow scarce.