BEIRUT — As announced last Friday, state-owned Electricité du Liban (EDL) is expected to double its current electricity production by mid-February, provided that the ministerial committee respects its agreement, caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad said on Wednesday.
Fayad made these remarks following a meeting at the Grand Serail with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, former Economy Minister Nicolas Nahas and a delegation from Electricité de France.
The attendees reached a conditional agreement whereby EDL will continue to produce 250 MW (megawatts) for a number of hours throughout the majority of Lebanon until EDL can ensure the government's "commitment ... to eliminate any [power] waste" by tracking down illegal connections to EDL's cables.
This government commitment must include an effort by caretaker ministries of interior, defense and justice, as well as the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces.
EDL director Kamal Hayek requested a second meeting to confirm the government's support, according to Fayad. Only once this step is completed, Fayad said EDL will then be able to proceed in its efforts to produce 500 MW.
On Wednesday, a power outage occurred in the Bakhoun-Dennieh district, North Lebanon, following the theft of electrical cables. Such theft has been recurrent since the onset of Lebanon's economic and financial crises.
Work is underway on the country's electrical infrastructure, including power plants, and is being supervised by Electricité de France in collaboration with EDL and Lebanon's Energy Ministry.