Lebanese parliament approves plan to restructure electricity

Lebanon's parliament has passed amendments necessary to implement a plan to restructure the country's crumbling electricity sector.

Wednesday's approval was widely expected in the country that has suffered electricity problems since the civil war ended in 1990. Subsidies to the state electricity company cost the government nearly $2 billion a year.

The approval came as hundreds of civil servants protested amid reports that their wages might be cut as part of austerity measures.

The plan aims to secure an additional 1,450 megawatts of temporary power by next year so that total output will reach 3,500 megawatts — enough to provide 24-hour electricity.

On the longer term, the plan calls for power production to be increased by more than 3,000 megawatts over the next six years by building new plants and relying more on renewable energy.