Electricity of Lebanon, ( EDL) says activists stormed key substation and disconnected equipment, causing major disruptions amid ongoing crisis
Lebanon’s state electricity company , Electricity of Lebanon, ( EDL) said Saturday that its power plants had stopped working after protesters stormed a key substation and tampered with the electrical equipment.
“Protesters disconnected a 150-220 kilovolt power transformer and opened circuit breakers connecting the Zahrani power plant to the Aramoun station,” it said.
Demonstrators angered by the blackouts stormed the Electricite du Liban substation in the Aramoun region north of Beirut on Saturday, EDL said in a statement
“This caused disturbances on the electrical grid… which led to a total blackout across Lebanese territory as of 17:27 (1527 GMT).”
Eyewitnesses claim electricity was also temporarily cut off at the international airport in Beirut.
The disruption will pile more pressure on private generators that are already struggling to keep up with the near-total absence of state power.
Private generator owners have hiked prices and rationed supply in recent months, with costs surging after the government gradually lifted fuel subsidies.
The average generator bill for a Lebanese family usually costs more than the monthly minimum wage of 675,000 Lebanese pounds — now worth just $22 on the black market , as the local currency hits record lows against the dollar
The international community has long demanded a complete overhaul of Lebanon’s ruinous electricity sector, which has cost the government more than $40 billion in subsidies since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.
Lebanon has reached an agreement on bringing Jordanian electricity and Egyptian gas into the country via war-torn Syria, while Shiite movement Hezbollah has separately started hydrocarbon deliveries from Iran
The small Mediterranean country is already grappling with round-the-clock power cuts that last at least 20 hours a day due to a financial crisis that has hampered key imports, including fuel for power stations.
The situation has hindered the functioning of state institutions, hospitals, and factories.