Energy ministers of Lebanon, Egypt and Syria, and Jordan signed on Sunday a $1bn deal for the transfer and sale of natural gas between the four countries.
Previously, in December 2000, Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria had signed an agreement for the construction of the pipelines.two separate companies will be established to build and operate the pipeline.
One company, Al-Sharq, will be responsible for the construction and operation of a 400km undersea pipeline carrying Egyptian gas, at a capacity of 12 million cubic meters per day, from near Arish in northern Egypt to Tripoli port in Lebanon.
The second company, the Arab Company, will undertake the construction and operation of a 400km land pipeline that will carry both Egyptian and Syrian gas and will be used for re-exporting the gas to neighboring countries such as Jordan and Turkey.
The project is expected to start in around six months. Egyptian Energy Minister Sameh Fahmy stated that the project was estimated to cost $800m for the sea pipeline and $200m for the land pipeline.
The agreement stipulates that the two firms will oversee the import and sale of Egyptian and Syrian gas, and will have to secure approval from the four energy ministers on any potential clients.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )