BEIRUT — Électricité du Liban (EDL) announced Monday that it will increase the supply of electricity to several Beirut neighborhoods by an additional two hours per day following the end of an employee strike last week.
The selected neighborhoods will receive a total of six hours of public electricity per day, starting Wednesday.
The selected neighborhoods include Achrafieh, Adlieh, Ain al-Tineh, Badaro, Corniche al-Nahr, Geitawi, part of Hamra, Hôtel Dieu, Karm al-Zaytoun, Koraytem, Manara, Mar Mikhael, Mar Mitr, Nazareth, Karantina, Raoucheh, Ras Beirut, Ras al-Nabaa, Sadate street, Sioufi, Solidere, and Unesco.
The ‘good students’ plan
EDL explained that these neighborhoods were chosen because they have a network violation rate of less than 10 percent.
The state power supplier set this threshold in April to differentiate between "good performers" and "bad performers," and promised to supply more power to the former.
The selected neighborhoods are supplied by the "58 medium-voltage substations already checked," some of which are connected to public infrastructures and administrations. EDL said it plans to check all 800 connection points throughout the country.
The state supplier gave details about how it plans to apprehend people who illegally siphon power or fail to pay their bills. Additional production capacity is planned at the Deir Ammar site, North Lebanon, in anticipation of increased power consumption during the summer period.
EDL still has not started collecting January and February invoices, according to a management source who wished to remain anonymous.
The complicated financial situation of EDL, mismanaged for 30 years by the ruling class, is due as much to the weakness of its cash flow as to losses and thefts of its network, along with insufficient capacity and obsolete equipment.
On Nov. 1, fares were modified for the first time since 1994 to buy fuel to power the electrical grid, and the collection of invoices was finalized until December 2022.
But the process has been stalled for several weeks, notably due to the rise of industrialists and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers (CGTL), who have called for an adjustment of the fixed charges provided for in the current grid. They deem these charges inadequate in view of the fact that EDL provides only a few hours of power a day, forcing individuals and businesses alike to rely on back-up generators, run by private operators at high cost.
The fuel used by EDL is currently provided by a one-year barter agreement between Lebanon and Iraq, originally signed in 2021 and has since been renewed.