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Lebanon Inching Closer to Financing Electricity and Gas Production from Jordan and Egypt with World Bank Aid

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An official Lebanese source confirmed that the government “received positive signals from the World Bank regarding a plan to supply Lebanon with electricity from Jordan and gas from Egypt.”

A government source said: “Lebanon is close to fulfilling all the conditions of the World Bank, so the countdown begins to the implementation of this plan, which is on schedule from August 2021.”

Lebanon, represented by former Lebanese President General Michel Aoun, informed the United States through its Beirut Ambassador Dorothy Shea in August 2021 of the US administration’s decision to “assist Lebanon in obtaining electricity through Egypt.” gas”.

Shi explained, according to the Lebanese president’s statement, that “the plan provides for facilitating the transportation of Egyptian gas through Jordan to northern Lebanon, on the condition that the World Bank undertakes” the financing of the price of gas, the repair and strengthening of power lines, and the necessary maintenance of gas pipelines.

The American position was a response to the statement by Hezbollah Secretary General Syed Hassan Nasrallah about Iran’s decision to supply Lebanon with fuel at its cost in Lebanese pounds, and not in US dollars.

A Lebanese government source summarized that a number of World Bank demands have come to the fore: “Firstly, to revise the electricity tariff in Lebanon, and secondly, to begin the process of appointing a regulator of the electricity sector in Lebanon, and thirdly, to verify accounts of the Electricite du Liban”.

And a Lebanese source said that “Last autumn, the Lebanese Electricity Corporation decided to raise the tariff price to 27 cents as the average rate per kilowatt hour and put it into effect from November 1, 2022, while pricing was previously carried out at a price. equal to one cent, and left the Government has an open door for Lebanon Electricity to adjust the price upwards in line with international oil prices.

According to energy expert and lawyer Christina Abi Haidar, “this decision is considered ‘revolutionary’, and the price of electricity for the Lebanese state remains cheaper than the cost of private generators, ‘between 40 and 70 cents’.” the electricity sector, in particular Law 462, through public-private partnerships.

According to a Lebanese government source, “Lebanon has begun the process of appointing the governing body by publishing an official announcement in one of the largest international newspapers, the Financial Times,” on the condition that the Ministry of Energy begins to receive resumes of candidates for power, so that they will later be presented to the cabinet with the first Lebanese government in the composition immediately after the election of the new president of the republic.

He explained with regard to the third step, i.e. the audit of the accounts of the Electricité du Liban, since this was a fundamental step for the French Electricity Company, which provides EDL with expertise and consulting research, and the World Bank also requires an audit. accounts of the sector on which the Lebanese have spent more than fifty billion dollars from the mid-1990s to the present day in exchange for providing the Lebanese with one hour of electricity at present, since most Lebanese are dependent on private sector generators.

A Lebanese government source said that the Lebanese electricity supply companies, which are private companies that operate, maintain, collect, subscribe, build, remediate, plan and design, have started collecting based on the new prices, and have so far succeeded collect more than ten billion Lebanese pounds, provided that these amounts are converted into US dollars through the Sarfa platform, the price of which is mobile, but about thirty thousand less than the price on the black market.

A Lebanese government source said the interim government will not take the lead in implementing the second part of the electricity sector development plan, which costs about $300 million (the first part cost about $300 million). dollars), except in the light of evaluating the results of covering the costs of the first phase of the plan. On the part of the Electricité du Liban Corporation (collection and suppression of encroachment), these amounts were determined by the government as treasury advances and not in the form of gifts, as desired by the Corporation, which means that she will be obliged to pay them and turn into the main financier of the electric power industry.

Source: Sputnik

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