BEIRUT — Energy Minister Walid Fayad asked Prime Minister Najib Mikati to hold a cabinet session at the end of next week to approve the electricity plan during a follow-up meeting on the matter Thursday, the state-run National News Agency reported. .
Here’s what we know:
• An article in the original 2022 budget draft granted Electricité du Liban an advance payment of LL5.25 trillion to buy fuel. Fayad was asked to justify the advance payment, before it was decided to separate the electricity and budget plans last week.
• During a meeting Thursday, the premier and energy minister touched on the topic of electricity tariffs, the NNA reported Fayad as saying, adding that they deliberated two main points: increasing electricity supply and reducing waste. “When we give 10 hours of feeding, we can increase the tariff and provide the Lebanese with electricity at a cheaper price, so that it will be about 70 percent lower than the cost paid for the generator [owners].”
• “Waste must be reduced and appropriate campaigns must be carried out, and the public sector must pay the bills required for it, as well as entities responsible for displaced people and refugees,” he added, highlighting the need to install “smart meters” to measure electricity consumption.
• Fayad added that the premier indicated he would like new electricity stations to be built as soon as possible, “and I explained that we have developed a very ambitious plan, and if we want to build stations, we need time to prepare the books of conditions, and secure funding … so the new stations cannot be done before mid-2024 at best.”
• For decades, EDL has struggled to meet the country’s energy needs. Since the onset of the financial crisis, provision has worsened. EDL now supplies households with little more than two to three hours of electricity per day, making private generator subscriptions the only alternative to darkness for most households and businesses.