More power rationing foreseen in Lebanon

Photo: More power rationing foreseen in Lebanon / Arab World

Lebanon could witness longer power cuts across the country despite the increase in the 2014 fuel budget, sources at Electricite du Liban told The Daily Star Friday.

The sources said that power rationing in areas outside central Beirut could jump from 6-8 hours to up to 10 hours daily. The power cuts could even reach 14 hours a day, the sources said.

The three-hour rationing inside central Beirut would remain the same, the sources said.

The sources said that the amount of money allocated to buying fuel products had been increased from the LL2,869 billion budgeted in 2013 to LL3,056 billion in the state's 2014 draft budget announced by Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil earlier during the day.

However, the sources said this would not be enough to secure the needs of EDL to provide more electricity to the country. The company has repeatedly complained of a shortage in fuel and gas oil.

Separately, the sources said that the state had failed to pay the dues for the company building a new power plant in Zouk just outside Beirut, which inflicted fines to the state.

The fines amount to 15 million euros, nearly LL30.88 billion, the sources said.

Danish constructor BWSC is building two new power plants in Jiyyeh and Zouk.

The facilities are expected to be complete within few months and will boost the country's troubled electricity sector.

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