Lebanon’s chronic electricity problem remains unsolved since 1975

electricity problem, Lebanon, Energy Ministers,
Seen here is Lebanon's Cabinet approving the energy minister's electricity proposal. (C) The Daily Star

Since 2002, Lebanon’s energy ministers have struggled to find and have not come out with a working solution to the country’s chronic electricity problem. Every person who headed the country’s Energy Ministry, without exception, have failed to find any kind of permanent solution to this most basic demand of the Lebanese people.

“The entire energy ministers since 2002 until today have not been able to fix the electricity crisis,” said al-Mustaqbal MP Mohammed Hajjar in an interview to LBCI station while noting that corruption has been one of the main culprits for this utter lack of progress in this regard.

He also highlighted and pointed out the extent to which public funds have been squandered and wasted in the State’s institutions and mentioned, “Some political parties have the mafias of generators and fuel (businesses) covered,” in reference to the chronic electricity problem.

Hajjar’s remarks is to be seen in the context of the arrival of a Turkish power generating ship off the coast of Jiye. Under an accord with the Lebanese government, the Turkish power barge would have supplied 200 megawatts of electricity to Lebanon’s power grid once it was connected to it. To a large extent this would have reduced the electricity problem faced by residents. Furthermore, the Turkish company was to generate electricity and provide it free of cost for the first three months of operations.

According to Hajjar, the power barge was received in Lebanon “on condition that the Jiye thermal power production plant be dismantled in order to protect the area from pollution.” However, it was blocked from docking into Jiye.

Since 1975, Lebanon has been plagued with electricity problem. Any potential solution to these power outages have been squandered by political parties over the petty, supposedly non-significant ways and means to tackle the core problem.