GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The power authority in Gaza announced Thursday it is capable of operating the sole generator in the enclave at full capacity for the first time in six years.

The generator is only operating at full power — 100 megawatts — at night. During the day it is working at 60 megawatts to conserve fuel, a spokesman for the energy authority Ahmad Abu al-Omrin said at press conference in Gaza City.

It would require 600,000 liters of fuel daily to operate the plant at full strength 24 hours a day, Abu al-Omrin said.

Energy needs have increased in Gaza in recent years due to population growth and urban development, he said, and the enclave needs 360 megawatts of electricity daily.

Abu al-Omrin thanked the Islamic Bank for funding the rehabilitation of the power plant, which was damaged by Israeli military operations in 2006 and 2008.

He also thanked Egypt and Qatar for supplying fuel to Gaza. The delivery of Qatari fuel, which began in July, eased a power crisis which had caused power cuts of up to 18 hours a day.

The official said the restoration of the power plant made it imperative for stakeholders — particularly Egypt — to make sure enough fuel was allowed into Gaza to run it.

He urged officials to implement an agreement to link Gaza’s electricity grid to Egypt’s and to lay down a network of pipes to supply fuel to Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Egypt’s border.

The Qatari fuel has been delivered via Egypt and Israel through Palestinian Authority intermediaries.