| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Is Importing gas and electricity via Assad’s regime an illusion or reality?

In 2008, Egyptian gas was brought to Lebanon through the Gulf of Aqaba passing through Syria, over a period that lasted 9 months.

In 2021, and after 13 years, the experience will be repeated, but the political and field conditions are different.

Politically, US is urging negotiations with the World Bank to secure funds that would cover the cost of the Egyptian gas, repairing electricity transmission lines, and maintaining gas pipelines all the way to Lebanon.

Syria agreed to cooperate after the visit of the Lebanese delegation, but what’s vital is implementing the import process without any obstruction.

A foursome meeting is expected this week in the Jordanian capital, Amman, including the energy ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon to revive the agreement concluded in 2009. This will enable Deir Ammar plant in the north to receive sufficient quantities of gas for operating the plant.

The gas pipelines between Egypt and Jordan are ready, but the pipelines that pass-through Syria and Lebanon to the Deir Ammar plant need maintenance. The pumping process must be preceded by examining the lines and making sure that there are no leaks and ensuring protection to prevent any sabotage acts. If the plan includes transporting gas via ships to Al-Zahrani plant as well, there is a need to secure new equipment, especially that operating the Deir Ammar and Al-Zahrani plants on gas will provide 860 megawatts of electricity to the network.

This requires 4 months to be accomplished. Bringing electricity produced in Jordan to Ksara plant in Lebanon, requires a much longer period, which may reach 10 months. The procedures are more complicated because the seven-way line that will be used was severely damaged during the Syrian war, and operating it is difficult, especially since the situation is still unstable in some areas in Syria that the line passes through.

The project requires time and pure Syrian intentions, which Lebanon is not accustomed to during the time of occupation and guardianship or beyond.

Will the regime’s behavior with Lebanon change? Don’t bet on it, just wait.

  • Sawt Beirut International