Syria and Egypt have signed a gas supply agreement with Lebanon to ease the energy crisis and outages in the country.
The gas import agreement was signed by Lebanese Energy Ministry Oil Facilities Director-General Aurore Feghali, Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) chairman Magdy Galal, and the Syrian’s General Petroleum Corporation director Nabih Khrestin.
As per the deal, Egypt will supply 650 million cubic metres of natural gas per year to Lebanon via Syria.
Syria will receive a small amount of the gas but will not get any cash as part of the agreement.
The Egyptian gas will be gas piped to the Deir Ammar power plant in northern Lebanon, where it could add approximately 450MW to the Lebanese power grid, which is equivalent to an extra four hours of power.
Designed to run on both gas and diesel, the Deir Ammar plant currently uses diesel as the gas pipeline is due to be commissioned, according to Reuters.
The agreement, however, is due to receive approval from the World Bank, which is expected to finance the process.
Commenting on the deal, Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad was cited by Associated Press (AP) as saying that assurances are needed from the US that countries involved in the deal will not be targeted by the US’ sanctions imposed on Syria.
The office of Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati was quoted by Alawi as saying that the price of the gas from Egypt is “30% less than global market prices.”
To help ease energy crisis and outages, Lebanon is planning to receive natural gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan, both via Syria. This could help in adding up to 700MW to the country’s grid.
Fayad added: “The agreement signed today crowns hard work that began nine months ago. We hope that all the obstacles have been removed in order to guarantee funding from the World Bank.
“We are looking forward to [getting] the final guarantees from the United States, especially regarding sanctions, therefore the support of the United States and the international community is essential.”