Gaza power plant shuts down
The Gaza power plant stopped operations yesterday morning because of severe shortages of fuel in the Strip. Until recently, most fuel entered the Gaza Strip via the tunnels, however, as of today, it's almost impossible to find anything other than small quantities of relatively high-priced gasoline (benzene) which enter from Israel at 7.11 NIS per liter.
Demand for benzene to run small generators and for automobiles in Gaza is estimated between 250-300,000 liters per day. Demand for diesel runs between 700-750,000 liters (for larger generators and ambulances), of which 350,000 liters are used by the power plant. During the past two weeks, the amount of all kinds of fuel entering Gaza via the tunnels dropped to approximately 350,000 liters per day – a third of what had entered previously.
Egyptian authorities have established fuel quotas for the northern Sinai according to population size in an effort to increase enforcement against fuel smuggling to Gaza. Since Israel began restricting supply of fuel to Gaza in 2007, residents there have come to depend more and more on import of fuel via the tunnels. The fuel from Egypt is less expensive but, as the current situation indicates, supply is unreliable and unstable.