Lights out on Lebanon, country with the third-most frequent electricity outages

Published July 13th, 2015 - 07:08 GMT

Firms operating in Lebanon experience 50.5 electricity outages in a typical month, the third most frequent among 136 countries globally, and fewer than only Pakistan (75.2 times) and Bangladesh (64.5 times), according to The World Bank’s Enterprise Survey on the quality of infrastructure in Lebanon.

In comparison, companies around the world on average experience 6.4 electricity outages per month, while those in the Middle East & North Africa region on average face 17.6 outages each month, with companies in OECD economies experiencing 0.4 outages per month.

The survey measures the reliability and provision of infrastructure services such as electricity and water in a country.

It also estimates the cost incurred as result of the inadequate provision of electricity. The results are based on surveys of business owners and top managers of more than 130,000 companies worldwide.

The sample in Lebanon covered 561 firms that include 264 micro- and small-sized enterprises, 207 medium-sized firms and 90 large companies. Also, 42.6 percent of surveyed firms in Lebanon are in the manufacturing sector, 18.7 percent are in the retail sector, while 38.7 percent are active in other sectors.

In addition, 91 percent of surveyed companies in Lebanon were domestically owned.

In parallel, the survey indicated that a typical electricity outage in Lebanon lasts 5.2 hours, constituting the 15th longest period worldwide and the second highest regionally.

Globally, the period of a typical electrical outage in Lebanon is longer than in Cape Verde and Tanzania (5.1 hours each), and in Kenya and Zimbabwe (5 hours each), and is shorter than in Ghana (6.6 hours), Guinea (6.3 hours) and The Gambia (6.1 hours) , as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group.

Regionally, it is only shorter than a typical electrical outage in Iraq (41.9 hours). In comparison, a typical electricity outage lasts 2.7 hours on average worldwide and 6.5 hours in the MENA region.

In addition, the survey showed that 84.5 percent of firms in Lebanon own or share a power generator, the second highest share globally behind only Guyana (87.6 percent). In comparison, 34.1 percent of firms around the world and 41 percent of firms in the MENA region own or share a generator.

Also, the survey indicated that generators provide 40.1 percent of a firm’s electricity needs in Lebanon, the seventh highest share globally below only South Sudan (68.9 percent), Liberia (60.6 percent), Guinea-Bissau (53.6 percent), Chad (52 percent), the Republic of Congo (43.2 percent) and Nigeria (41.2 percent).


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