Egypt to supply natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan, Syria

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AMMAN, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon on Wednesday reached an agreement to provide Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

Following a meeting in Amman joined by Jordan's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati, and his Syrian counterpart Bassam Tohme, Lebanese counterpart Raymond Ghajar and Egyptian counterpart Tarek El-Molla, the Jordanian official announced that the four countries have agreed to draft an action plan to resume natural gas shipments from Egypt to Lebanon through the Arab Gas Pipeline that stretches from Egypt through Jordan and Syria to Lebanon.

In a press conference after the meeting, Zawati said the meeting mainly aimed to resume Egyptian gas supply to Lebanon as it was halted ten years ago.

The minister added that the technical teams from the four countries would revise all the necessary for resuming gas supply in several weeks. The teams will also check on the infrastructure to decide when the resumption of supply will begin.

The minister added that another meeting will be held soon to draft an action plan to provide Lebanon with electricity from Jordan using the Syrian grid.

For his part, Tohme said that the Arab Gas Pipeline project is one of the most important joint Arab cooperation projects, which was started in 2003.

"Technical teams from all the four countries will inspect the infrastructures during the next few weeks to ensure smooth supply of gas and electricity to Lebanon and we are ready to facilitate the process and support Lebanon in this regard," said the Syrian minister.

Speaking at the conference, Ghajar said Lebanon needs 650 million cubic metres of gas per year, adding that Lebanon seeks to receive gas from Egypt that is sufficient for generating 450 megawatts of power at present.

Ghajar added that Lebanon will be working with the World Bank to secure the necessary funding for the purchase of power and gas.

The Egyptian minister said that his country is ready to resume the necessary supply of gas to Lebanon to help end the energy crisis in the country. Enditem

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