Egyptian Gas to Reach Lebanon By Year-End, Says Minister

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(Bloomberg) — Egypt’s natural-gas will be delivered to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria within three months, as the Arab states seek to help end power shortages in their crisis-ridden neighbor.

It is waiting for some “procedures” to be completed, including for Lebanon to submit a funding request to the World Bank, the country’s Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Bloomberg on the sidelines of a conference. 

Energy ministers from the four countries agreed during a meeting in Jordan last week to work out details of a plan to resume Egyptian gas shipments and Jordanian power to Lebanon. The gas will help feed the Deir Ammar power plant in Lebanon, which has a capacity of 450 megawatts. 

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The neighboring states will need the time to assess the infrastructure connecting them to Lebanon which requested 60 million cubic feet a day of natural gas, El-Molla said. The pipeline will also need to be fixed before it can be used again, said Syrian Oil Minister Bassam Tohme after the meeting last week. Each state will send technical teams to inspect the pipeline over the next few weeks, he said.

The agreement will help Lebanon, which has been experiencing worsening power outages amid dire economic and political crises. Dorothy Shea, the U.S. Ambassador in Lebanon, told Al Arabiya that the U.S. was in talks with Egypt, Jordan and the World Bank to find sustainable solutions to Lebanon’s energy needs.

The Arab Gas Pipeline previously transported Egyptian gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, but rising domestic demand crimped Egypt’s exports before a series of attacks on the line in war-torn Syria shuttered that route for gas to Lebanon completely about a decade ago.

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