Arab Gas Pipeline- CC via Wikimedia
CAIRO - 10 September 2020: It has been agreed to deliver the Egyptian natural gas to the Lebanese through Jordanian and Syrian pipelines, with putting a plan of action and a timetable for its implementation, announced the Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in a statement.
The agreement was reached during the ministerial meeting of the Arab Gas Pipeline countries (Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon) in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Hala Zawati, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla, Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Bassam Tohme, and the outgoing Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water Dr. Raymond Ghajar. A day after reaching the agreement, Lebanon announced on Thursday the formation of a new government and assigned Walid Fayyad as the new Minister of Energy and Water.
Egyptian Minister Tarek El Molla affirmed Egypt’s permanent role towards the Arab countries in all issues upon President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives, saying “Egypt is working to speed up coordination for delivering the Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria” and to ease the burdens of the Lebanese people.
The Arab Gas Pipeline was implemented in three phases; the first phase started from Egypt’s Al-Arish city in Sinai to Jordan’s Aqaba, with a length of 265 km, a diameter of 36 inches, and a capacity of 10 billion m3 per year, the Jordanian ministry said in the statement. The supply of the gas through this pipeline started on July 27, 2003.
The second phase of the joint pipeline was implemented on two stages; the first stage extended from Aqaba to the Rehab, Northern Jordan, with a length of 393 km. The supply of gas to power plants in Rehab began in February 2006. Meanwhile, the second stage of the second phase stretched from Rehab to the Jordanian-Syrian border with a length of 30 km and 36 inches in diameter. The second stage was competed in March 2008.
As for the third phase, it starts from the Jordanian-Syrian border to the city of Homs in Syria. This 320-kilometer pipeline was completed in July 2008. The pipeline is 36 inches in diameter. The Egyptian natural gas was exported to Lebanon through the Jordanian territories in 2009, but it stopped in 2011 after the January 25, 2011 uprising.
Lebanon witnesses an energy crisis due to shortage of fuel reserves needed to generate electricity and the lack of funds to secure it. A number of protesters had blocked it with their vehicles Lebanese Jounieh highway on Friday, in protest against the severe fuel shortage, Lebanese News agency reported the Traffic Management Center.
The agreement came three weeks after head of Lebanese Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah announced that an Iranian fuel tanker to be send to Lebanon.