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“There was a huge desire and pressure from the people, from customers who said, why are you not producing electricity instead of the generators?” said Assaad Nakad, chief executive officer of Electricite de Zahle (EDZ).
There are no quick fixes to the power crisis even though public discontent over poor services has helped galvanize talk of finding solutions.
Electricity has been available 50-60 percent of the time in Zahle in recent years, meaning residents had to pay 0-120 a month to local generators for a 5 amp supply during cuts.
The local electricity company, a rare utility concession that buys power from the national grid, decided to take action to fill the gap.
He signed a three-year contract with British company Aggreko to build and maintain a power plant providing electricity to EDZ during the cuts.
For the past eight months this has allowed 57,000 customers in Zahle and surrounding municipalities to dispense with generators and get all of their supply through EDZ.
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Generation capacity falls more than a third short of demand and about 45 percent of what is produced is lost in the network because of illegal connections, tampering with meters or technical reasons. “We estimate that in five to six years, instead of having an average supply of 16 hours or 18 hours, it will probably go down to 12 hours” on average daily across the country, Beides said.