Lebanon signed a deal Tuesday to import natural gas from Egypt, via Syria.
The deal was signed in a ceremony at the Lebanese energy ministry in Beirut by representatives of all three countries as well as the chairman of the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding, Magdy Galal.
The agreement is part of the US-backed effort to address the crippling power outages faced by Lebanese citizens over the past year-plus.
Natural gas will be piped from Egypt through Syria to the Deir Ammar power plant in northern Lebanon under the agreement, adding up to 450 megawatts daily – about four extra hours of power – to the national grid.
Lebanon’s residents have been living on just a few hours of electricity each day; many have acquired private generators at their homes to ensure an adequate power supply.
The World Bank, which has pledged financing, and the United States still must approve the deal.
The US will relax its sanctions on the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad to enable to deal to go through, Lebanon’s caretaker energy minister Walid Fayad told Reuters.
Another thing to note, as pointed out by blogger Abu Ali Express, is that Egypt has recently increased its gas purchase from Israel significantly. Let’s hope that when they export their gas to Lebanon, they don’t forget to remove the “Made in Israel” label…