Iraq’s government has agreed to continue supplying Lebanon’s electricity company with heavy fuel oil for another year, Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister said on Thursday, alleviating pressure on Lebanon’s struggling power grid.
Najib Mikati said he had made the request to Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, who agreed to extend the same terms of the agreement signed last year.
In July 2021, Iraq offered the cash-strapped Lebanese government 1 million tonnes of heavy fuel oil a year in exchange for services including health care for Iraqi citizens.
The deal was meant to alleviate Lebanon’s acute power shortage, which last summer reached crisis levels when the government was unable to subsidize fuel imports.
Lebanon subsequently removed those subsidies and domestic fuel prices skyrocketed.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine then further bumped up international prices this year.
With the government unable to provide fuel to public power plants, most homes in the country have been left without state-provided electricity for around 22 hours every day.