World Bank freezes Lebanon’s gas and electricity loan: LBCI sources

Lebanon Economy
2023-02-02 | 09:34
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World Bank freezes Lebanon’s gas and electricity loan: LBCI sources
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World Bank freezes Lebanon’s gas and electricity loan: LBCI sources

Hopes that the long-term electricity plan would reach its conclusions have evaporated.

This conclusion comes after sources confirmed to LBCI that the World Bank informed the parliamentary delegation visiting Washington that the $300 million loan to export gas from Egypt and electricity from Jordan at a later stage is currently frozen and is not on the bank’s agenda. 

Sources primarily linked the hold to the failure of completing the necessary reforms in the electricity sector, which the World Bank had been calling for, the most important of which is;  appointing the regulatory board for the sector, collection of tariffs, and limiting technical loss.

MPs Elias Bou Saab, Mark Daou, and Yassin Yassin were informed of the World Bank's decision during a meeting with officials who said that freezing the loan is not linked to the Caesar Act sanctions, given that the export of gas and electricity will pass through Syria.

Simultaneously, if the World Bank were to reactivate the loan, the issue of sanctions would remain a vital issue in implementing the deal, especially given the Republican opposition in Washington to a possible waiver for Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan from the Caesar Act.

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