Massive power blackout hits Lebanon

EDL headquarters in Beirut Lebanon. The sign reads Electricité du Liban - customer service
EDL headquarters in Beirut Lebanon. The sign reads Electricité du Liban – customer service

BEIRUT: Lebanon has been hit with a massive power blackout since 9:20 a.m. Monday, due to a malfunction in the Zahrani power plant of Electricite Du Liban ( EDL) utility company , according to local reports

Failures at the Zahrani power plant are not uncommon , but one executive was quoted as saying this time it is different

“It happens every year,” the executive said, “but this time it’s different, because the control room that handles electricity distribution was moved from the headquarters to the Jumhour facility but the equipment remains at the headquarters and is not accessible due to the labor strike by contract hourly employees”

Moving the central control room to another location has, he said, made the task of restoring power more difficult.

“All the equipment is at the headquarters, which is blocked by the contract workers,” he said.

While Lebanon has been experiencing intensive rationing for weeks, EDL has been warning against a possible total blackout if contract workers continue their occupation of the headquarters .

EDL Director General Kamal al-Hayek told Voice of Lebanon (93.3) that employees are working on fixing the sudden electricity disruption, but did not provide any details on when power will be restored.

Lebanon needs about 2500 MW of electric power , but the current output of the electric power stations is about 1600

About 2,000 contract daily workers have been observing a nationwide strike, demanding full-time employment and rejecting a decision issued by the company’s management to hire only the 897 of them that passed the employment test .

According to analysts EDL is a huge burden for Lebanon because its is heavily subsidized . Many of the contract hourly employees do not show up at work , they go there just to clock in and leave to work elsewhere or do nothing . The only problem is that those that don’t show up are backed by influential politicians such as Speaker Nabih Berri (who is in turn backed by Hezbollah ) and cannot be fired even though they are contract hourly workers .

The analysts stressed that EDL is an inefficient operation that should be privatized or shut down because it cannot continue to drag down the Lebanese economy. Most of the deficit is related to the EDL subsidy.

The analysts added: While all electric utility companies in the world are profitable, in Lebanon EDL has proved to be a loser. It takes the company months to send the bill , terribly inefficient in collections and in preventing power thefts.

EDL put many small time operators in business because it is unable to provide 24 hour electricity despite the heavy subsidies. The small time operators usually provide power to their subscribers using small inefficient diesel Generator sets that pollute the Lebanese towns and villages

In Lebanon power blackouts are a daily affair . It is normal to have anywhere between 12 -16 hour daily blackouts , even in the tourist resorts of Mt Lebanon and the capital Beirut



10 responses to “Massive power blackout hits Lebanon”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Music … everyone sing along …..
    ‘It’s been gone gone gone, it’s been gone so long, that I wonder if I’m ever gonna see my baby.’

    HEY, AOUN !!! Light up some tyres. THAT should help.
    (I wonder if the cave is dark ….)

    I recommend a new book, named … ‘THIS CHANGES EVERY THING’

    1. MekensehParty Avatar

      Back to the cave or even better back to the tree 🙂

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    When you need an escape from the heat of Global Warming, go to the Older Iran ….

  3. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Nothing ‘new’ about Lebanon for almost 2 days … I guess the blackout is holding.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      But maybe not …. Daily Star has some ‘stuff’….
      “BEIRUT: Over 500 Lebanese people submitted their candidacies for the parliamentary elections by the Tuesday night deadline, despite the rising likelihood that the vote will not be held on time.
      Almost all current MPs applied to run in the polls. The deadline to submit the candidacies was at midnight.
      Aoun’s funny lines:
      “There is a majority that supports the extension but we support holding the elections,”
      “From the start we opposed the extension and submitted a challenge before the Constitutional Council [against the first extension].”
      Aoun said that Speaker Nabih Berri did not categorically reject the Parliament’s extension.
      “He is saying, ‘why would we extend Parliament’s term when it is not legislating?’”
      The FPM leader said this indicated Berri would not oppose extension if Parliament resumed its duties. ” (Aoun runs on ‘hunches’ … hohohohohoho)

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        AND … from the same paper …. Understatement of the week: :-))))))))

        Salam called on the grand mufti to continue Dar al-Fatwa’s historic role, with respect to strengthening unity within the Sunni front, forming closer ties with other Muslim sects and maintaining progressive Christian-Muslim dialogue. Hinting at heightened tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon, Salam said that “the relationship between Islamic sects is not at its best.”

  4. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Do you remember the story a little while ago, about the ‘poor little Nile Crocodiles’ being found and trapped in the local waters of Lebanon?? All the ‘animal rights’ people were out of joint, right??
    Well …. THIS is a Nile Croc. Still want it as a local cutie?? :-)))))
    (if you only see a question-mark, click on it)

  5. “The only problem is that those that don’t show up are backed by influential politicians such as Speaker Nabih Berri (who is in turn backed by Hezbollah ) and cannot be fired even though they are contract hourly workers .”

    Really? Mr Berri personally puts manual labouers and administrators in positions at the plant? And is it ONLY Mr Berri, or do others do the same? The patronage system will slowly suffocate the coubtry – by highlighting only one party to it is the same as ignoring it altogether. Lebanese moan till the cows come home, as long as they are not self-critical. You deserve this.

  6. Patience2 Avatar

    Was it even noticed? I thought these things were just an ordinary part of life here. Hmmmm…

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