Energy ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon agreed on Wednesday a plan to transfer gas and electricity to crisis-hit Lebanon at a meeting in Amman, AFP reports.
Egypt’s minister for oil and mines Tarek al-Molla said that his country would “be ready to transfer gas (to Lebanon) as soon as possible” via the transnational Arab Gas Pipeline.
But the damage to the pipeline and electricity lines during the decade of civil war in Syria means that energy supplies cannot start flowing before repairs are carried out, which would take months.
In the push to help revive the stricken Lebanese economy, the US, which initiated the deal, has given rare approval for the Arab neighbors to avoid sanctions targeting the Syrian regime under the Caesar Act issued by Washington in 2020.
Lebanese Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar said the country needed “600 million cubic meters of gas to provide 450 megawatts of electricity”.
The gas pipeline linking Jordan and Syria was hit in August 2020 in a blast dubbed a “terrorist act” by Damascus.
Meanwhile “it will take several months to repair the damaged electric lines in Syria,” Jordan’s Energy Minister Hala Zawati said.
Zawati added that the infrastructure is “almost ready, but there are still repairs” to do.
Lebanon is also “working with the World Bank to ensure the financial resources needed to pay for energy imports from Egypt,” Ghajar said.