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 Lebanese army agreed to provide 6,000 kilolitres of gas oil distributed equally between the two power stations, the state electricity company said in a statement reported by National News Agency.
This quantity will secure power in Lebanon for three days, the statement added.
Many Lebanese normally rely on private generators that run on diesel, although that is in short supply.
Lebanon has been paralysed by an economic crisis which has deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up. The Lebanese currency has fallen by 90% since 2019.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday warned of a power crisis in the Indian capital due to a coal shortage, which has already triggered electricity cuts in some of the country’s eastern and northern states.
“Delhi could face a power crisis,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in which he also shared a copy of a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging a shortage of fuel in power plants in and around Delhi.
Kejriwal urged the federal government to divert supplies of coal and gas to utilities supplying the capital, saying the city housed strategic centres of national importance and supply was critical to hospitals and coronavirus vaccination centres.
A crippling coal shortage has caused a supply shortage in states such as Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, with residents in the regions experiencing power cuts stretching to up to 14 hours a day.
India said on Saturday it will facilitate gas supplies to enable two power plants in Delhi to operate. State-run NTPC Ltd has also been directed to increase coal stocks to coal-fired plants from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh state to ensure supply.
A power supply shortage in Uttar Pradesh, which faces elections in early 2022, had surged to 5.6% on Friday, the highest in recent days, federal government data showed.
In India, over half of 135 coal-fired power plants, which supply around 70% of the country’s electricity, have fuel stocks to last less than three days, Reuters reported on Friday.
Demand for industrial power has surged in India after the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with increased economic activity driving up coal consumption in the world’s second largest consumer of the commodity. (REUTERS)