Thu, 23 Jun 2022 - 12:03 GMT
Thu, 23 Jun 2022 - 12:03 GMT
CAIRO – 23 June 2022: The US administration has welcomed the deal signed between Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, per which the Egyptian gas is to be exported to Lebanon through the Syrian territories, said the US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price on Wednesday evening.
“We welcome Egypt and Lebanon reaching an agreement to provide gas to Lebanon to relieve its energy crisis. This is an important step towards regional cooperation in support of the Lebanese people. We look forward to working with @WorldBank to review the details,” he took to Twitter.
We welcome Egypt and Lebanon reaching an agreement to provide gas to Lebanon to relieve its energy crisis. This is an important step towards regional cooperation in support of the Lebanese people. We look forward to working with @WorldBank to review the details.— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) June 23, 2022
Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, on June 21, signed an agreement to transport 650 million cubic meters of gas annually from Egypt to Lebanon via Syria, in a ceremony held at the Lebanese Ministry of Energy in Beirut.
Under the agreement, the gas will be pumped through a pipeline to the Deir Ammar power station in northern Lebanon, where it can add about 450 megawatts to the grid, equivalent to about four additional hours of electricity per day.
Allthough an agreement between the Arab Gas Pipeline countries "Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon" was reached in September 2021, to deliver Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, the signing of the deal has been postponed for several months as Egypt was waiting for the US approval to have guarantees that the US Caesar Act’s financial sanctions on Syria would not negatively impact the deal because the Egyptian gas shall pass through Syrian and Jordanian territories to reach Lebanon.
The Arab gas pipeline
The Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) started in late 1990 planning for the extension of 1,200 kilometers of the Arab gas pipeline that aims at delivering the Egyptian gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Egypt initiated the pumping with 28 million cubic meters of gas daily to Lebanon in 2009.
AGP was implemented in three phases, starting from Al-Arish to Aqaba, with a length of 265 km and a capacity of 10 billion m3 annually. The supply of natural gas from Egypt to Jordan under this phase began in mid-2003.
The second phase extended from Aqaba to the Rehab area in northern Jordan with a length of 393 km. The supply of gas to power plants in the north of the Hashemite Kingdom began in February 2006, while the second phase from Rehab to the Jordan-Syria border was completed with a length of 30 km in March 2008.
The southern part of the third phase was implemented inside the Syrian territory, extending from the Jordanian-Syrian border to the city of Homs with a length of 320 km and was put into operation in July 2008.
Exporting Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan began in 2009, until it stopped in 2011 after pipelines were damaged during the Syrian civil war and sabotage attacks.
Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Bassam Tohmy considered the Arab Gas Pipeline project one of the most important joint Arab cooperation projects.
Syria agreed to transfer Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity to Lebanon through lines that pass through Syrian territory.
Additional reporting by Hanan Mohamed