Monday, 20 July 2015

Gaza's sole power plant to shut down in ongoing energy crisis


Gaza's sole power plant will stop running Monday evening as it is unable to cover taxes imposed by the national unity government, Gaza's energy authority said.

The unity government waved the tax in a show of good will in the four months to the end of Ramadan, but the Gazan energy authority said in a statement Monday that since the tax has been reinstated it can no longer afford to keep the plant running.

The energy authority added that it had only been able cover the cost of maintaining the plant during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and following Eid holiday by borrowing from local companies and taking loans from banks.

The tax imposed on fuel before it is sold to Gaza amounts to a 50 percent price hike on the price of fuel per liter, or 3.5 shekels ($0.91), the statement said.

Gaza is facing an ongoing energy crisis, with residents of the coastal enclave provided only a fraction of the energy needed.

Earlier on Monday, 25 percent of the coastal enclave's energy supply was cut off when two power gridsrun by Israel shut down due to a technical error. more

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