(AFP) - Syria needs to invest $four billion in the production, transport and distribution of energy to cover its electricity needs over the next ten years, the Tishrin daily said Wednesday. A ministerial committee said Syria's energy needs rose by between eight and nine percent annually over the last few years, which it put down to the increase in living standards, and investment plans, particularly in the agricultural sector.
In 1999, Syria's energy needs reached a peak 4,000 megawatts, said the paper, which added that by 2010 needs would have increased by about another 3,000 megawatts, and by some 5,000 by 2020.
The committee called on Economics Minister Mohammed al-Imadi to find the necessary loans from various Arab funds for the construction of new electricity power stations.
According to the paper, the committee plans to allow private investors to build them. Syria stopped electricity rationing nearly six years years ago, but there are frequent power cuts during heatwaves.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )