BEIRUT: Four electricity substations in the Choueifat and Aramoun areas of Mount Lebanon were subjected to theft of their copper wires and equipment, Electricite du Liban said Friday, blaming the “phenomena” for increasing power cuts in areas outside the capital. “The thefts put a heavy financial burden on the establishment and deprive the regions where these thefts occur of electricity supply,” EDL said in a statement.
EDL said it was coordinating with the Interior Ministry and its three private service providers to boost security at power substations.
“We also hope that citizens help by being attentive and not hesitating in informing authorities when any suspicious behavior is witnessed,” it said.
An EDL spokesperson told The Daily Star that the thefts were not related to an increase in power cuts in central Beirut, which had until recently received a preferential power supply with only three hours of cuts a day.
The capital witnessed a gradual increase in electricity cuts since the beginning of summer after power substations in the city were unable to meet soaring caused by the use of air conditioning units, the spokesperson said.
Two power convertors were moved from the Zouk power plant, north of the capital, to substations in central Beirut, but technicians have not yet managed to put them in service, the spokesperson said, citing technical reasons.
“This should happen very soon and will help restore supply to around the same previous level.”
But a full solution to the city’s power problems awaits the completion of the Mansourieh high-voltage line, which links a plant in Mkalles to another in Bsalim. Mansourieh is located between the two villages.
Citizens in Mansourieh, Metn, have long protested the government’s plan to install high-voltage power lines in the area, describing them as a health hazard.
The ministerial committee tasked with overseeing the issue of the installation of disputed lines has not been able to reach a solution.