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FUEL CRISIS

Gasoline shortage to worsen by midweek: Brax

Gasoline shortage to worsen by midweek: Brax

If fuel ships waiting offshore are not unloaded, "the country will be paralyzed due to the exhaustion of gasoline reserves," Brax said. (Credit: NNA)

BEIRUT — Georges Brax, a spokesperson for the gas station owners’ syndicate, warned on Saturday evening that the gasoline shortage would worsen further by the middle of next week, as ships waiting offshore remain unable to unload their cargo until Banque du Liban opens lines of credit to pay for the fuel they are carrying.

Here’s what we know:

    • Brax said that as of Friday there were just 55 million liters of gasoline left for consumption in the country — a quantity that will last “in the best cases, until the middle of next week,” he said, warning that many stations will be forced “to close their doors in the days to come.”

    • Brax placed blame for the impending fuel cutoff squarely on BDL. “... ships that are in the open sea cannot unload their cargo because Banque du Liban has not provided them with the necessary credits,” he said, adding, “If the cargoes of the ships are not emptied, the country will be paralyzed due to the exhaustion of gasoline reserves.”

    • Last month, Lebanese officials announced a partial removal of fuel subsidies, pricing the commodity at a rate of LL8,000 to the US dollar until the end of September, up from 3,900 pounds since the end of June. However, this decision did not ease the fuel crisis in the country.

    • Last Tuesday, Brax said that fuel subsidies would be removed within a few days. According to him, negotiations between the central bank and the Energy Ministry are exploring two possible scenarios for an end to fuel subsidies: either the subsidies will be removed but the approval of fuel imports will remain in the hands of BDL, which will release loans in foreign currency at the parallel market rate (currently around LL16,500 to the dollar) or imports will be completely free and decisions concerning the quantities purchased abroad will be taken directly by the companies concerned.


BEIRUT — Georges Brax, a spokesperson for the gas station owners’ syndicate, warned on Saturday evening that the gasoline shortage would worsen further by the middle of next week, as ships waiting offshore remain unable to unload their cargo until Banque du Liban opens lines of credit to pay for the fuel they are carrying.Here’s what we know:    • Brax said that as of Friday...