The Ministry of Finance has begun settling public institutions’ outstanding electricity bills with Électricité du Liban (EDL).

The public electricity supplier announced in a statement that it had been informed on June 6 that the Ministry of Finance had begun paying the amounts due on bills from the General Directorate of the Presidency of the Republic, the General Secretariat of Parliament, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the Bekaa Water Establishment. These payments cover the period from January 2022 to April 2023, totaling around 134 billion Lebanese pounds.

Sources in the Ministry of Finance have assured This Is Beirut that subsequent invoices will be paid regularly as soon as they are issued. It is worth noting that the public sector’s electricity consumption, based on current production capacity, is estimated at $107 million annually.

EDL has described this step as positive and fundamental for ensuring its financial viability, which depends on the establishment of a widespread payment culture.

In recent months, EDL has repeatedly threatened to cut off power to public administrations if they fail to pay their bills, in accordance with the circular issued by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on February 8, 2023, calling on all public administrations to pay their dues and arrears.