Amid a sharp fuel shortage and an unprecedented financial crisis, the Lebanese are facing complete darkness after private generator owners announced rationing of electricity supply to an additional five hours per day.
Owners of generators complain that state supply of electricity is dwindling sharply pressuring their generators to function longer hours.
Head of the Association of Power Generator Owners, Abdo Saadeh, announced in an interview to Asharq el-Awsat that rationing will rise to five hours a day starting next week.
“Generator owners are forced to ration due to the fuel shortage crisis. They are buying diesel, when available, from the black market at around 40,000 Lebanese pounds ($3 according to the black market exchange rate) for 20 liters, meanwhile the state sets its price at 28,000 because fuel is still subsidized,” said Saadeh.
Fuel shortage in Lebanon is due to Banque du Liban’s reluctance to open the required credits in a move aimed at saving the remaining foreign currency reserves.
BDL had announced its inability to continue subsidizing basic goods including fuel.
The continued smuggling of diesel to Syria as well as stockpiling by fuel traders for double-profit purposes when subsidies end, have exacerbated the crisis.
Lebanese have long bore the state’s incapacity to provide them with decent power, resorting to subscriptions in private generators who in turn exploited the situation by making huge profits out of the state’s power supply gap.