BEIRUT — A number of tankers gathered on the main Lahoud highway in both directions in front of the Energy Ministry’s headquarters on Tuesday as a one-day strike called by tank owners and fuel distributors got underway. The gathering caused a traffic jam in the area, the Traffic Control Center reported.
Here’s what we know:
• The strike was announced on Thursday in response to a demand by the ministry’s Petroleum Directorate that the tanks on these vehicles be standardized. The tank owners say that to do so would create unsustainable additional costs.
• The Petroleum Directorate at the Energy Ministry urged truckers to homogenize tanks’ capacity since 2019 in an attempt to limit fraud, according to the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers head Bechara al-Asmar.
• However, truckers oppose this measure saying that it burdens them with additional costs. The rise of fuel prices internationally following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 has resulted in similar price hikes in Lebanon, leaving many people unable to afford fuel.
• Long lines that formed at gas stations in early March were attributed to drivers’ fear of price increases, as some gas stations refused to sell fuel while awaiting price adjustments.