Tunisia faces major power cut due to sudden technical failure
There was a countrywide power outage in Tunisia on Wednesday lasting for approximately three hours due to a sudden technical problem, as announced by the state-owned energy company Steg (Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz).
The power failure occurred around 01:00 local time (00:00 GMT) due to an unforeseen breakdown at the Radès power station located in the southern suburbs of Tunis, according to Steg’s statement. No further details were provided regarding the cause of the breakdown.
Electricity supply began to be gradually restored around 4:00 a.m. in various districts of the capital city, Tunis.
The unexpected outage lasted for over four hours in some areas of the country, as stated by posts on social media.
An occurrence of a nationwide power outage is uncommon in Tunisia. However, during the scorching summer heat this year, with temperatures exceeding 45 degrees Celsius, the government had to implement planned power cuts, targeting a different region each time.
As per June 2023 data, Steg is responsible for supplying 99% of Tunisia’s electricity, generated primarily from natural gas sources. Renewable energy sources, like photovoltaics, account for a mere 2.5% of the total energy production.
Being a country with limited hydrocarbon resources, Tunisia imports a majority of its natural gas from neighbouring countries such as Algeria and Libya. The preferential tariffs on the gas pipeline linking Algeria to Italy make this import feasible.
Furthermore, Tunisia has been facing water shortages due to the ongoing drought, causing reservoirs to remain at only 27% of their full capacity. As a result, the government has imposed water rationing measures until the end of September.