Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon decided Wednesday to construct an overland gas pipeline to transport Egyptian gas to the three other countries and Turkey, Syria's official SANA news agency said.
It said the decision was made during a meeting of the countries' prime ministers on the sidelines of a ceremony inaugurating a Jordanian-Syrian electricity link-up project.
"The land route was chosen during the meeting, sending gas from el-Arish, Egypt, to Aqaba, Jordan, and then to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey," SANA said.
The officials decided against an underwater pipeline, which would transport some 12 million cubic meters (420 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day from El Arish to the Lebanese northern port of Tripoli.
Egyptian Energy Minister Sameh Fahmi has estimated that land pipelines would cost 200 million dollars, as opposed to $800 million for undersea pipelines.
The originally proposed one-billion-dollar project, which would have included both land and underseas pipelines, would have imported gas from Egypt to Lebanon, Syria and Jordan for sale locally, and eventually re-export to Turkey and other European countries.
The Jordanian and Egyptian systems were already hooked up through an undersea cable two years ago. Turkey is to be brought into the power-sharing web later this year, followed by Lebanon in 2002 and Iraq in 2003.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)