An energy company that supplies about a quarter of Lebanon’s electricity has turned off its generators. Karpowership, a Turkish company, claims Lebanon owes it more than $100 million (£71 million) and has not been paid in 18 months. It is also facing corruption charges, which it denies, as well as an ongoing legal battle.
Lebanon is in the midst of a major economic and political crisis, and power outages are already common, with many people relying on private generators.
Hassan Diab is the caretaker Prime Minister at the moment. He stepped down following the August blast, but Prime Minister-elect Saad Hariri has yet to form a government, leaving Mr Diab in charge until Mr Hariri can take office.
Karpowership generates approximately 370 megawatts (MW). According to Reuters, Lebanon has a total capacity of about 2,200MW, including the barges, but it has a much greater need for power, with peak demand in 2020 reaching 3,500 MW.
A state prosecutor threatened to seize the ships earlier this month after a local television channel reported corruption allegations relating to a power contract, which Karpowership denies. The company has been fined $25 million by a court.