Last updated: 2 August, 2012

Qatar fuel powers Gaza plant at full strength

The Gaza Strip’s sole power station is working at full capacity for the first time since 2006 thanks to fuel from Qatar, the Hamas-run energy authority said on Thursday.

“Today the power plant is operating at full capacity for the first time in six years,” the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority said.

Last month, Qatar began shipping through Egypt and Israel some 30 million litres of fuel over the course of three months to ease Gaza’s chronic energy crisis, according to Israeli officials involved in the transfer.

But PENRA said that even with that much-needed boost there was only enough diesel to run the generator at its full 100-megawatt power for part of each day.

“For now, the power plant will be working at full capacity only during the night,” it said.

“During the day, it will be working at 60 MW because of the limited amount of fuel.”

Until the Qatari fuel started to flow, Gaza had been in the grip of the worst power crisis in living memory with the electricity plant forced to shut down repeatedly, causing power cuts of up to 18 hours a day.

The situation was eased somewhat in April after a deal between Gaza’s Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which agreed to supply Gaza with fuel purchased from Israel.