Under an agreement signed in June, Egypt-based Al-Sharq Gas Companywill deliver 1,000 million cubic metres a year (cm/y) of gas to Jordan for 15 years from 2003. The capacity of the pipeline will be 10,000 million cm/y to allow for the sale of gas to Jordan and for a proposed extension to Syria, Lebanon, and possibly on to Turkey.

Lebanon, Syria and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2000 to set up a regional gas pipeline. Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has announced proposals for the creation of a joint public/private sector company in Beirut to oversee plans for the distribution network. Cyprus also plans to join the regional gas grid, Nicosia’s Commerce & Industry Ministry announced on 15 October. The island plans to switch to natural gas for its energy needs within five years, and is looking at proposals for a pipeline to connect to the grid in Lebanon.