Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Jordan to deliver electricity to Lebanon via Syria

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, January 20th 2022 à 16:50 | Read 176 times

The electricity shortage will be partly solved by an agreement with Jordan (photo: EDL)
The electricity shortage will be partly solved by an agreement with Jordan (photo: EDL)
LEBANON / JORDAN / SYRIA. The Jordanian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources announced on Wednesday 19 January 2022 through a press release on its website, the signing of two energy agreements, one with Lebanon and the other with Syria.

The first contract will allow Jordan to supply Lebanon with part of its electricity needs and the second will allow this energy to be transited through the Syrian network. Discussions on a collaboration plan between the three countries took place in Amman in October 2021.
Jordan and Syria are linked by a 400 kV high-voltage electricity interconnection line established in 2001 but which has been out of service since 2012 due to technical problems. Lebanon and Syria have 400, 230 and 66 kV links.

Saleh Al-Kharabsheh, Jordan's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jordan must "stand by the Lebanese brothers and help them overcome the obstacles they face in the energy sector."

The statement published on the Jordanian ministry's website said that the supply from the Jordanian electricity system of about 150 megawatts of electricity is planned from midnight to six in the morning and 250 megawatts during the rest of the time. "The selling price of electricity to Lebanon will not cause any loss to the Jordanian electricity system, as the cost of distribution will not be included in the selling price," says Saleh Al-Kharabsheh.

Power plants run out of fuel

Lebanon has been in default since March 2020 and is going through the biggest political, economic and social crisis in its history. The inhabitants of the Land of the Cedars are suffering from electricity cuts. The company Électricité du Liban (EDL) can only supply electricity for two to three hours a day. Since October 2021, the country has been in the dark for two or three consecutive days - and again at the beginning of January 2022 for 24 hours - due to the closure of the main electricity production sites. The arrival of ships with fuel oil from Iraq did not solve the problem, as its quality was not sufficient to ensure the operation of the power plants.

Many power plants are therefore regularly shut down for lack of fuel that the Bank of Lebanon (BDL) can no longer afford to buy, especially with the plummeting of the Lebanese pound on the foreign exchange market (loss of 95% of its value since 2019 against the dollar).

The situation is also aggravated by the limited availability of petrol in petrol stations, which prevents the Lebanese from fuelling their personal emergency generators. And that's not to mention the unaffordable price of fuel when, according to the World Bank, 80% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The Jordanian offer will provide a temporary response to this energy crisis. Egypt has also planned to deliver gas, but no timetable has been defined.

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