Egypt, Jordan and Syria will help provide Lebanon with up to 17 hours of electricity per day to tackle the crippling energy shortages that have repeatedly plunged the country into darkness.
Energy Ministers of the three countries agreed on Wednesday to draw up a road map to supply Lebanon with Egyptian natural gas to generate power and alleviate energy rationing in the small Mediterranean country.
Most Lebanese face electricity blackouts of up to 22 hours per day as leaders struggle to secure foreign currency to import fuel and gas.
After a meeting between ministers of the four countries held in Jordan, Lebanese caretaker energy minister Raymond Ghajar told a news conference his country was working with the World Bank to secure financing for the scheme and repairs to the country's infrastructure.
He added: "We have one gas plant in Deir Ammar that has 450 megawatts, and we need about 600 million cubic meters of gas annually.
Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla set out more details, and said: “We hope to export gas to Lebanon as soon as possible and there is a need to check the gas transportation infrastructure in order to provide Beirut with supplies,”
The ministers also agreed to discuss the situation of the Syrian infrastructure for the transmission of electricity, as Syria has approved gas and electricity transit through its territory to Lebanon.
"The transmission line was damaged but it's repaired and it is now ready and protected by a security company," Syrian Minister Ali Ghanem said.
The launch date of the project was not disclosed.
Once this agreement is implemented, 17 hours of electricity per day will be provided.
According to Ghajar, gas from Egypt will provide 4 hours of electricity, and Jordan is ready to sell the surplus electricity, providing 200 to 400 MW, or about 3 hours, local papers reported.
He also pointed out that Lebanon is receiving oil from Iraq which will be substituted with fuel suitable for the production plants, and this will give about 10 hours of electricity.
Lebanon needs about 3,000 MW to meet the needs of citizens, out of which 1,800 MW are secured from electricity plants and from two Turkish ships, Ghajar said.
The estimated deficit of 1,200 MW is much more because 50 percent of production is wasted due to old generators and the absence of meters to control consumption, he said.