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    Jordan, Syria to sign key Lebanon electricity deal next week


    January 20, 2022 - BBC International Reports (Middle East)

     

      By BBC Monitoring

      Lebanon, Jordan and Syria will formally sign an agreement on 26 January to provide Lebanon with electricity under a deal announced last August, Jordan's minister of energy said on 19 January.

      The deal - the focus of several regional meetings last year - will see electricity transferred to Lebanon from Jordan via the Syrian power grid, Jordan's privately owned Ammon News website reported.

      It said that Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh al-Kharabsheh "stressed the importance of the agreement to help our Lebanese brothers meet part of their electrical energy needs".

      The agreement stipulates that Lebanon is to be provided with around 150 megawatts of electricity from midnight to 06:00 every day, and around 250 megawatts for the remainder of the day.

      The development was also reported by Lebanon's privately owned Al-Jadeed TV channel and French-language L'Orient le Jour.

      Lebanon is also looking to the implementation of a US-sponsored agreement to secure transfers of gas from Egypt via Jordanian territory.

      The country is gripped by protracted power shortages, with state utility firms only able to provide a few hours of electricity a day, leaving much of the population to rely on costly private generators.

      See also: Explainer: How is Lebanon trying to meet its energy needs? Shortages hit internet connections, remote learning

      A reliance on diesel to power generators has also brought on other problems, with shortages of the fuel affecting the ability of telecoms companies to provide reliable internet connections. An intermittent outage since last week has been attributed to chronic shortages of fuel, the Ogero telecoms company reported last weekend.

      Ogero's chairman, Imad Kreidieh tweeted on 19 January that the internet disruptions over the past week should cease, after most telecommunications centres have received deliveries of fuel. Kreidieh said that "concerted efforts were being made to avoid further service disruptions."

      Meanwhile, on the same day, students in two villages in the southern Nabatieh region complained to the education minister that the lack of the Ogero service, suspended for nearly two weeks there, was impeding remote education, which has been necessitated by Covid-19 and school closures, the English-language L'Orient Today newspaper has reported.

      Source: Lebanese sources 20 Jan 22

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