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The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
11:48 PM Beirut time
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Ministry denies withholding Lebanon's EDL funds
The Finance Ministry building in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
The Finance Ministry building in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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BEIRUT: The Finance Ministry refused to take the blame Tuesday for more power rationing in Lebanon, saying the ministry already allocated funds to Electricite du Liban.

“The [Finance] Ministry allocated $129 million in funds to EDL last week and is looking to give it another $45 million to fulfill Lebanon's need for power until the end of the year,” said a statement from the Finance Ministry.

It said the criticism was part of a campaign against the Finance Ministry.

The statement stressed there was no delay in fund allocation, adding that fuel oil supplies were well secured “and EDL is aware of that.”

On Monday, EDL said a two-week delay in payment for fuel oil by the Finance Ministry could force further electricity rationing in Lebanon.

“Our efforts to unload this fuel to the power stations Sunday and Monday did not succeed due to bad weather and high waves,” an EDL official told The Daily Star Monday.

“Unfortunately, our fuel oil reserves have sharply declined, and if we cannot unload the shipment Tuesday, then we will be compelled to increase electricity rationing all this week,” the official added.

The drop in fuel reserves comes after the latest shipment sat offshore for two weeks waiting for funds from the Finance Ministry to be released.

 
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