CAIRO (Dispatches) – Egyptian natural gas will be piped to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria to help boost its electricity output under a plan agreed by the four governments in Amman on Wednesday to ease a crippling power crisis.
Tarek El Molla, Egypt’s minister for oil and mines, said that his country would “be ready to transfer gas [to Lebanon] as soon as possible” via the transnational Arab Gas Pipeline.
But damage to the pipeline and electricity lines during the decade of foreign-backed war in Syria means that energy supplies cannot start flowing before repairs are carried out.
Fuel and power shortages have been paralyzing the economy and vital services like hospitals in Lebanon.
On Wednesday, 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.
“It will take several months to repair the damaged electric lines in Syria,” AFP reported Jordan’s Energy Minister Hala Zawati as saying on Wednesday.
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.