Lebanon is grappling with an extensive power outage crisis across the entire nation, stemming from the closure of the pivotal “Deir Emar” and “Al-Zahrani” power plants, according to an official statement released by the Lebanese Electricity Company.
The statement revealed that the Deir Emar and Al-Zahrani facilities ceased operations due to the failure to meet payment obligations to the operating entity, “Prime South.” Consequently, the operating company has decided to halt plant operations, initiating the necessary procedures to effectuate this cessation.
Notably, Lebanon entered into a bilateral agreement with Iraq in July 2021, aiming to mitigate the nation’s acute electricity shortage. The pact entailed importing one million tons of heavy fuel from Iraq. The inaugural shipment, carrying 31 thousand tons of the commodity, arrived in Lebanon on September 16, 2021.
Under the energy exchange arrangement, Iraq provides Lebanon, currently grappling with its most severe economic crisis in history, with heavy fuel oil. In return, Iraq receives designated “services and goods” from Lebanon.
In a move to address the challenging circumstances faced by Lebanon, the Iraqi Council of Ministers extended the fuel oil agreement in August 2022. Despite this, official reports indicate that the Lebanese government has yet to fulfill any payment to Iraq, exacerbating the strain on both nations.