Lebanon and Egypt reached an agreement to build a $500 million underwater pipeline to bring gas directly from the Egyptian port city of Al-Arish to Tripoli.Lebanon is expected to use the pipeline to import 6 to 9 million cubic meters of liquefied natural gas a day,worth between $80-100 million.
Once the pipeline to Tripoli is complete,the second phase will be to extend it
to Syria,Turkey and other European countries.The agreement is part of a $2 billion plan toestablish an Arab gas network that will eventually be linked to Europe.
The Egyptian deal would complement plans to supply Lebanon with up to 3million m³of gas from Syria,due to be signed before the end of the year.
Lebanon expects to recuperate part of the cost from allowing the pipeline to go through itsterritories.In addition,Lebanon would be converting to a cheaper and cleaner source of energy and save around $50 million annually in fuel oil cost.
A meeting is planned in less than a month between energy experts from the two countries to discuss technical details.Egypt’s Oil Minister said Mr.Hariri’s recent visit to Cairo had given the project renewed impetus.
He confirmed that Egypt had originally planned to pipe the gas via Israel,but the deal with Lebanon eliminated Israeli hopes of being included in the regional network.