Lebanon Electricity Crisis 2022
The problem started when Lebanon closed its oil refineries after the 2006 Lebanon war and had to import gasoline from Saudi Arabia instead. This has led Lebanon to use more diesel generators as it is cheaper than gasoline, but at the same time, Lebanon now has to import more diesel than before. Lebanon now spends around $2 billion annually on fuel for power stations alone.
The energy regulator is Lebanon’s first independent organization to advise on improving Lebanon’s electricity supply, which comes as it currently only produces 12 percent of the electricity it consumes, importing around $1 billion worth of fuel annually. Lebanon also has the highest electricity costs in the world, according to its energy regulator; it is three times more expensive than Europe and five times more expensive than some Middle Eastern countries.
Due to the Lebanon electricity crisis, it currently spends around $2 billion annually on importing around 3 million tonnes of diesel. Lebanon’s new power stations consume some 1.4 million tonnes of Lebanon’s 4 million tonnes of imported diesel. Lebanon also imports around 1.5 million tonnes annually of heavy fuel oil for smaller, emergency power stations; Lebanon now spends nearly $1 billion on electricity each year, but it generates half that much in revenue because Lebanon’s current system is so inefficient.
Lebanon is facing an energy crisis because it receives 90% of its electricity from oil and gas-fired power plants, many of which are outdated pieces of equipment that were not designed for 24/7 operation. Lebanon has only 25 days of reserve capacity at peak times. It has reported blackouts lasting 7–12 hours a day over the past two weeks (April 1st–April 15th).
Lebanon’s daily power demands are 2700 MW. It has had to halt some of its oil production at refineries due to a lack of electricity, which it uses for pumping oil. Lebanon is under the serious threat of an economic crash if it does not resolve its energy crisis.
Lebanon has started rationing electricity by rolling blackouts for several hours a day in some areas. It has also warned that factories will start closing down if the crisis is not resolved soon. Lebanon’s energy minister has said Lebanon must ration its electricity consumption because there simply isn’t enough to go around and Lebanon does not have the money to import additional fuel from abroad.
Because of the above, it currently operates six power plants: Zouk (2058 MW), Jiyyeh (1485 MW), and Jiyeh (1361 MW) gas turbine combined cycle units; Qaraoun I & II hydroelectric plants (752 MW); Lebanon’s only nuclear power plant (900 MW) and an oil-fired power plant in Tripoli (360 MW).
Lebanon has signed agreements with the IEC/IEA to borrow up to 2,000 MW of electricity from Syria if Lebanon experiences shortages. Lebanon had hoped that it would not have to resort to importing electricity from Syria. Lebanon has said that it can no longer afford to do so and plans to import electricity from Lebanon.
Lebanon has said that it could not stop at just exporting electricity. Lebanon would look into providing itself with other critical energy products such as diesel and gasoline, which Lebanon desperately needs. Lebanon has warned that Lebanon could face additional power shortages of over 1,000 MW during the winter months if it cannot import electricity from Syria or another source. Lebanon has been negotiating for solutions to Lebanon’s energy crisis throughout the country. Lebanon says it is its responsibility as a country to find a solution. All in all, the whole Middle East is suffering from power outages and similar problems when it comes to receiving their basic human rights.
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