BEIRUT — Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh al-Kharabsheh announced Wednesday that he will sign the electricity import agreement with Lebanon, which was delineated by a US-led initiative, “next Wednesday,” media outlets in Lebanon reported.
Here’s what we know:
• The minister said that Jordan would supply Lebanon with “150 megawatts of power between midnight and 6 a.m. and 250 megawatts during the rest of the day,” according to local media reports. The stated supply load falls within the limits of the connecting wires in Syria and Lebanon.
• The provision of electricity comes under a US initiative proposed last summer. The agreement has reportedly been approved by the US government despite its reliance on electric connections in Syria, on which sanctions were placed by the US Caesar Act.
• The Jordanian minister reportedly told local media outlets that his country would not incur losses from the deal as it will not be responsible for transportation and distribution costs. To date no further details, such as the duration of the contract, its rules regarding electricity sales and the costs of repairing the Syrian electricity infrastructure, have been made available. The Lebanese Energy Ministry has yet to answer L’Orient Today’s inquiries in relation to these matters.
• Lebanon’s state electricity provider, Électricité du Liban, has operated at an electricity supply deficit marked by debilitating outages that have led to a reliance on private generators. Similarly, tariffs for electricity from EDL have remained constant since the 1990s, leading to notable financial losses.
• The US initiative for addressing the electricity crisis in Lebanon was announced in August. Other international approaches to the sector’s issues have included an exchange agreement with Iraq under which Lebanon would receive fuel oil to run its power plants and the importation of Iranian fuel by Hezbollah, which Washington designates as a terrorist organization.