Lebanon power outage will last several days, official says

The state electricity company confirmed in a statement that the thermoelectric plant at the Zahrani power station had stopped.

Tourists walk at the sea castle of the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon October 3, 2011.  (photo credit: REUTERS/ALI HASHISHO)
Tourists walk at the sea castle of the port-city of Sidon, southern Lebanon October 3, 2011.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ALI HASHISHO)

Lebanon has no centrally generated electricity after fuel shortages forced its two largest power stations to shut down, a government official told Reuters on Saturday.

"The Lebanese power network completely stopped working at noon today, and it is unlikely that it will work until next Monday, or for several days," the official said.

The state electricity company confirmed in a statement that the thermoelectric plant at the Zahrani power station had stopped. The Deir Ammar plant stopped on Friday.

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.

The state electricity company will try to use the army's fuel oil reserve to operate the power plants temporarily, but that will not happen anytime soon, the official said.

 A Lebanese army soldier stands guard near the site of a fuel tank explosion in Akkar, in northern Lebanon (credit: OMAR IBRAHIM / REUTERS) A Lebanese army soldier stands guard near the site of a fuel tank explosion in Akkar, in northern Lebanon (credit: OMAR IBRAHIM / REUTERS)

Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, although that is in short supply.

Lebanon has been paralyzed by an economic crisis that has deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up. The Lebanese currency has fallen by 90% since 2019.