Lebanon loses quarter of electricity supply

A Turkish power supplier has shut down two floating power plants docked in Lebanon because the country does not pay the bills.

In addition, the Lebanese justice has seized the ships in connection with a corruption investigation. The company doesnt take it and demands that the investigation stop.

The ships together account for a quarter of Lebanese electricity generation. It is expected that the already defective power supply will collapse further.

Threat

The owner of the ships, the Turkish company Karadeniz, threatened to shut down electricity production last weekend. According to the company, the bills for the electricity supplies have not been paid for eighteen months. According to a source of news agency Reuters, the late payment has risen to more than EUR 80 million.

Lebanon is presumably unable to pay the bills because it has been in an unprecedented political and economic crisis for over a year. Last year, the coronacrisis was added and the explosion that destroyed the harbour and part of the inner city of Beirut.

In addition, Karadeniz is furious that the Lebanese justice has seized the ships. The reason for this is a broadcast this week by a Lebanese TV channel, which said that the conclusion of the electricity supply contract was accompanied by corruption. Karadeniz denies that.

Deep crisis

Power outages were already a major problem before the outbreak of the crisis, partly due to corruption. Since the end of the civil war (1975-1990), electricity supply has been poorly regulated in Lebanon, says correspondent Daisy Mohr. Every day it falls out, and that will only get worse now.

Businesses and individuals who can afford it run common generators when the power goes out again. But these generators run on fuel and there is also a lack of them, says Mohr. Over the past few days, there were long lines at the gas stations. It is expected that in Lebanon it will become even darker than it already was.