Blackouts in Gaza

February 27, 2012. While the Gaza Strip experiences 8-hour rolling blackouts, the Gaza energy authority has announced it is waiting for diesel to be shipped from Egypt, but not through the tunnels.
The Gaza Strip is currently experiencing rolling 8-hour blackouts (8 hours on, 8 hours off and so forth) as the supply of fuel in the Strip stands at 50% of need. Yesterday, supply of direct electricity from Egypt rose from 17 MW to 22 MW. Because of severe shortages of fuel entering through the tunnels, the power plant in Gaza is currently able to produce only 30 MW of energy running one turbine.
The Gaza energy authority has announced that it is waiting for diesel to come in from Egypt through “official channels” and with Egyptian approval, rather than through the tunnels. Until now, diesel from Egypt was being sold via the tunnels at prices similar to those in Egypt. Fuel in Egypt is government subsidized, so Egypt has been effectively subsidizing fuel prices in Gaza as well. If fuel begins to be transported through official channels, it's expected it will be sold at higher, i.e. non-subsidized prices.
Gisha was told by the West Bank energy authority that it appears that the Gaza electrical company will soon be signing an agreement for fuel supply to the Gaza Strip with an Egyptian company. Meanwhile, Egypt will have to decide whether diesel will enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom or Rafah. To the best of our knowledge, this decision has yet to be made, but in any case, the diesel is not expected to enter through the tunnels.