The Tripoli port will serve as Lebanon’s main shipping centre after an explosion left the Beirut port largely unusable, Minister of Public Works Michel Najjar said.
The government is assessing capabilities of Tripoli in the north of the country and other ports, he told LBCI television in an interview. The Tripoli port is operating at 40% of its capacity and is able to receive Beirut-bound ships, an official at the port told the channel in a separate interview.
Lebanon has enough wheat stockpile to last for a month-and-a-half and isn’t expected to face a crisis, Al Akhbar reported. The silos at the Beirut port, which has capacity of 120,000 tons, were almost empty at the time of the explosion, Ahmed Hatteet, the head of the wheat importers’ union, told the newspaper. Four ships carrying 28,000 tons of wheat were unable to offload their cargo at the port, he said.
Wheat importers will meet Minister of Economy Raoul Nehme on Wednesday to discuss the situation, Al Akhbar reported, citing a wheat trader.