Egypt gas to be piped to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria

Egypt’s natural gas will be piped to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria to help boost its electricity output under a plan agreed by the four countries on Wednesday to ease an unprecedented and severe power crisis.

The plan, which Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said would be implemented as soon as possible, is part of a U.S.-backed effort to help relieve Lebanon’s power shortages using Egyptian gas to be supplied via an Arab pipeline established some 20 years ago.

The power crisis has been deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up, representing a part of a wider financial crisis that has sunk the Lebanese currency by 90 percent since 2019.

The plan has had some complications due to the U.S. sanctions on the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, but Lebanese officials have asked Washington to grant an exemption.

Syria has said it is ready to cooperate.

The plan was approved by ministers from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt during a meeting in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

“We have put a roadmap with the ministers so that within the coming few weeks we can ensure that everything is ready so that we can after this review begin pumping gas at the earliest opportunity,” Minister el-Molla said.

Lebanon’s Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar said his country seeks to get sufficient gas to generate 450 megawatts (MW) of power at a power plant in the north and is working with the World Bank to secure financing.

“In future there is the possibility of importing electricity from Jordan also through Syria after repairs to areas damaged by war,” Minister Ghajar said.

From his part, Syria Oil Minister Bassam Tohme said his country would make every effort for the plan to succeed.

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