Lebanon Faces Lengthened Hours Without Electricity After Karpowership Shuts Down Supply

Ghana Business News

Almost a week has passed since Karpowership decided to shut down their generators. The energy company, which is responsible for at least one-fourth of Lebanon’s electricity supply, decided to turn off their energy source for specific monetary reasons.

According to the Turkish conglomerate, the government has not paid them in over 18 months, which has resulted in at least $100 million in unpaid charges.

Moreover, the company is also facing charges of corruption, which the electricity enterprise has denied, but they have been embroiled in a continuous legal fight for quite some time. With Lebanon in a significant political and economic crisis, the country has been afflicted with steady power cuts, which is why locals have been reliant on private generators for years.

Unbelievably, the country has been without ‘an agreed upon’ government in at least nine months. This occurred after the deadly explosion at Beirut’s port that killed over 200 people, which caused the past administration to hand in their resignations. Meanwhile, Hassan Diab has been serving as the caretaker Prime Minister. Mr. Diab was one of the officials those that stepped down after the blast that happened in August of 2020, taking over when PM-elect Saad Hariri couldn’t manage to form a government, and will remain as acting PM until Mr. Hariri can take over.

Karpowership reportedly shut off their power supply, which is dispensed from two barges, at 0800 local time, which is equivalent to 0600 BST.

They said in a statement, “We deeply regret shutting down and went to great lengths to avoid it.”

It went on to say, “For 18 months, we have been exceedingly flexible with the state, continually supplying power without payment or a payment plan, because the country was already facing very hard times. However, no company can operate in an environment with such direct and undue risk.”

Karpowership supplies 370 megawatts (MW), which is equivalent to around one-fourth of Lebanon’s current supply, and they explained to the government that if they didn’t see any action to begin reconciling the charges due to them, they would have no choice but to shut down.

The move, albeit being so difficult, was one that Karpowership felt they needed to take despite knowing how taxing it would be for the general population. The locals already lacked enough power even with the company’s supply, and now that they’ve chosen to shut down, it leaves many to struggle even more without power for lengthy hours all throughout the day and night.

Moreover, there is also an investigation into corruption allegations against the power company that were made earlier in the month, with a state prosecutor threatening to confiscate their ships. Since then, they have been under investigation and could very well face a $25 million fine.

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