Bassil warns of further electricity cuts

Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil checks his files as he attends a Cabinet session held at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Lebanon, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. (Mohammad Azakir/The Daily Star)

BEIRUT: Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil said the country would witness more electricity cuts, adding that he had submitted several emergency plans to Cabinet in a bid to temporarily resolve the crisis but to no avail.

“I have warned that the situation will deteriorate and I stated that electricity cuts would increase even more and that the production process would worsen,” Bassil told Al Joumhouria newspaper in an article published Tuesday.

Several areas in Lebanon have been suffering from increased electricity cuts due to the rainy season. This is especially true in south Lebanon, where many have complained that electricity only comes for four hours on a daily basis.

“I have previously submitted multiple emergency plans to Cabinet, including bringing in ships, but there was no real response to these demands which could have resolved the issues,” Bassil added.

During a news conference on Jan 9, Bassil said that work on electricity projects would kick off in March, vowing that his plan would save $685 million over the next four years.

His projects include the leasing of power generating ships, the rehabilitation of the Jiyye and Zouk power plants, and the completion of the Mansouryeh high voltage power lines as well as the gas pipeline that crosses from Syria into Lebanon.

In September, the Cabinet approved a $1.2 billion draft law to allow the Energy Ministry to build 700 megawatt power plants designed to improve power supply in a country suffering chronic electricity rationing.





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