Energy ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday agreed a plan to bring gas and electricity to crisis-hit Lebanon at a meeting in Amman.

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 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.

Caretaker Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar said the country needed “600 million cubic meters (21 billion cubic feet) of gas to provide 450 megawatts of electricity”

Lebanon is also “working with the World Bank to ensure the financial resources needed to pay for energy imports from Egypt,” Ghajar said

Syrian minister Bassam Tohme confirmed from his side that Syria will ensure the transfer of Egyptian gas to Lebanon.

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.

A top level Lebanese delegation went to Damascus on Saturday to strike a deal to import gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan using Syrian infrastructure.

In the push to help revive the stricken Lebanese economy, the U.S. has given rare approval for the Arab neighbors to escape punishment under sanctions targeting the Syrian regime.

The U.S. approval came after Hizbullah announced last month that Iran would begin sending fuel to Lebanon.

Fuel and power shortages are one of the most acute symptoms of Lebanon’s economic collapse, paralyzing the economy and vital services like hospitals.

The World Bank has labelled Lebanon’s situation the worst economic crash since the mid-19th century.

Source Agence France Presse