Photo Credit: Roman Deckert / Wikimedia
A muddle of power cables on a residential building with a yellow Hezbollah poster on the right in the Southern Lebanese city of Tyre/Sour on November 6, 2019

The nation of Lebanon has gone dark, according to the Lebanese NBN channel, which reported Saturday that the country’s electricity grid “has been completely disconnected, and the country has entered darkness.”

Sporadic bits of light were seen around the country as families operated their private generators, which depend on diesel fuel. That, too, is in short supply, however, and it is not clear how long the private generators will be able to operate, given the nationwide shortages in the country.

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The blackout occurred after the Deir Ammar plant stopped working Friday, followed on Saturday by the shutdown of the Zahrani thermoelectric plant, according to a statement by Electricity of Lebanon.

“The Lebanese power network completely stopped working at noon today, and it is unlikely that it will work until Monday, or for several days,” a government official told Reuters on Saturday.

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.

Lebanon to Import Jordanian Electricity, Egyptian Gas via Syria — While Waiting for Iranian Oil

However, “A shipment of fuel oil will arrive this evening,” Electricity of Lebanon said in its statement to Lebanon 24. The company did not reveal where the shipment was coming from, nor under whose auspices.

According to Lebanon’s National News Agency, the Lebanese Army agreed to provide 6,000 kiloliters of gas oil, to be split between Deir Ammar and Zahrani.

The state electricity company had earlier in the day had renewed its warning that Lebanon would “imminently face total blackout in the Central Bank fails to buy fuel oil to run the power plants,” which were running out of fuel, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported.

Last month, an arrangement was made to import Egyptian gas to Lebanon via Jordan, through Syrian territory.

But several weeks earlier, Hezbollah issued a statement saying that Iranian fuel would be imported to Lebanon; Iranian crude oil would be shipped to Syria, where it would be refined into diesel and/or gasoline before transport over land to Lebanon.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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