But the plan is complicated as the pipeline passes through Syria, which is under US sanctions.

People wait in cars to get fuel at a gas station in Zalka, Lebanon on August 20, 2021.
People wait in cars to get fuel at a gas station in Zalka, Lebanon on August 20, 2021. (Reuters)

Egypt is finalising arrangements to start supplying gas to Lebanon soon under a plan to help ease Lebanon's power crisis, the two countries' energy ministers said after meeting on Tuesday.

Under an agreement announced last month, Egypt will supply natural gas to Lebanon via a pipeline that passes through Jordan and Syria to help to boost Lebanon's electricity output. 

The deal, agreed by all four countries, is part of a US-backed plan to address Lebanon's power shortages.

READ MORE: An economic deal with a political agenda: The power supply plan for Lebanon

Lebanese Energy Minister Walid Fayad said on Tuesday that Egypt could provide more gas than originally anticipated if necessary but gave no details.

"Egypt offered ... helping in the energy sector through the possibility of offering extra quantities of gas," Fayad said at a joint press briefing with Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla in Cairo after their meeting.

"We will have another discussion on this," Fayad said, without elaborating.

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Molla said that the two countries agreed on a roadmap for the gas supplies.

"God willing, we can finish the measures related to the deal within the few coming weeks," Molla said, but did not say when supplies would begin.

Life in Lebanon has been paralysed by the crisis, which has deepened as supplies of imported fuel have dried up. It is part of a wider financial crisis that has sunk the Lebanese currency by 90 percent since 2019.

READ MORE: Suicides surge in crisis-hit Lebanon

The energy plan, however, is complicated by US sanctions on the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Lebanese officials have called on Washington to grant an exemption.

READ MORE: ‘Why should we trust them?’: Lebanon’s new government met with cynicism

Source: Reuters