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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Lebanese official says Qatar prepared to solve energy crisis


Lebanon has been seeking oil and gas from neighboring countries to supply its power plants amid a dire electricity crisis. 

A Lebanese security official confirmed Qatar’s readiness to provide Lebanon with much-needed gas supplies as the country struggles with a severe electricity crisis. 

General Director of Lebanon’s General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim discussed with Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi cooperation in the field of oil and gas and the possibility of supplying Lebanon with Qatari gas, according to local Al Sharq.

Ibrahim, who made a visit to Doha, stressed that Qatar has shown it is prepared to aid Lebanon as the country scrambles to survive a dire economic and electricity crisis. 

Asked whether Qatari liquified natural gas will be supplied to Lebanon, Ibrahim said “yes, this is what was discussed, and if we need Qatari gas, our brothers in Qatar are ready to provide Lebanon with the quantities necessary to cover its needs”.

“But there are details that are being followed up, including the issue of financing. In principal, the directives of His Highness the Emir, Tamim bin Hamad, are clear and explicit, which is to help Lebanon with everything that Qatar can help with, and I believe that we will get the Qatari aid we need,” he told the local daily.

Read also: Jordan grants Lebanon ‘initial approval’ to allow Qatari gas transfer through Aqaba port

Lebanon has been seeking Qatari gas to sufficiently supply its electricity plants. 

Recently, Lebanon made a request to Jordan to allow the transfer of Qatari liquified gas through Aqaba port, the Jordanian ministry of energy confirmed.

Energy officials had previously agreed that the easiest way to proceed with the process would be through the gasification of liquefied gas in a place other than Qatar. 

In order to proceed, a Jordanian approval is required to start gasification of LNG in the kingdom’s territory.

Upon approval, a shipment of Qatari LNG would be sent to Jordan through Aqaba port on the Dead Sea and transported by pipeline to Lebanon, via Syria. 

“We sensed a Qatari desire and will to help Lebanon in this regard, and Minister Al-Kaabi informed us that he is ready to put his personal experience at the disposal of Lebanon. He gave us very important advice, and the meeting was successful and fruitful,” Ibrahim told Qatar-based Al Sharq newspaper. 

He noted that “there are some steps that the Lebanese authorities must take to make things easier and more transparent, but Qatar is absolutely ready to help Lebanon.”

Authorities in Beirut are currently in the process of importing Egyptian gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, however “the quantities that we will import from Egypt will not suffice the Lebanese need to generate electricity,” he added.

Lebanon has been scrambling to secure fuel after the country’s two main power plants went out of commission due to severe fuel shortages that have left the nation in dire need of assistance.

The fuel crisis has debilitated much of public life, forcing the public to rely almost entirely on expensive private generators. Hospitals have struggled as well, fearing the safety of their patients.

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