Qatar ready to support Lebanon with long-term LNG supply: Energy Minister
Doha also expressed 'satisfaction' with a US-backed plan to provide Lebanon with gas and electricity from Egypt and Jordan
By News Desk - February 22 2022

(Photo credit: AFP)

On 22 February Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi announced that the kingdom is working to support Lebanon with a long-term energy supply of liquified natural gas (LNG).

Speaking at a news conference during the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Doha Al-Kaabi said his country was “aware and happy with Egypt’s short-term solution, which would help Lebanon obtain natural gas using a network of pipelines in Jordan and Syria.”

The Qatari energy minister was referring to a US-sponsored plan to provide crisis-hit Lebanon with Egyptian gas through Jordan and Syria. The plan was put in place in response to efforts by Hezbollah to import Iranian fuel to the Levantine nation.

Nonetheless, reports indicate that the US government has yet to provide Egypt with final approval to proceed with its project by granting it an exemption from the Caesar Act sanctions against Syria.

According to sources that spoke with Al-Akhbar, the US State and Treasury Departments are “under pressure” from groups in congress that see the energy-sharing plan as indirectly supporting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But despite Washington’s cold feet about moving forward with the plan, last week Egyptian and Syrian technical teams reportedly completed repairs on the gas pipeline that connects Lebanon to Syria.

The Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) extends from Al-Arish in Egypt, through Aqaba and the Rehab region in Jordan, and through Syria’s Homs into Lebanon. It is capable of absorbing around 7 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually.

On 26 January, the energy ministers of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon inked the energy-sharing deal, which will reportedly secure 250 megawatts of energy to Lebanon during the day and 150 megawatts at night, and which is expected to be funded by the World Bank.

Lebanon has been suffering from an increased severity in electricity shortages since its economy took a nosedive with the economic crash of 2019.

The state-owned national electricity company, Électricité du Liban (EDL), having provided up to 21 hours a day of electricity before the crisis, now only provides two hours of electricity per day at sporadic times.

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