PEEGT buys gas and fuel feedstock for its power stations at subsidised rates. But Homsi says that the feedstock will eventually be freed of subsidies, which will inevitably be reflected in prices. ‘There is no timeframe yet,’ he said. ‘But we are studying it very carefully because there will be social implications.’

The introduction of a revised tariff structure could pave the way for a wider restructuring of the sector, which could see the launch of independent power projects (IPPs) at some point in the future. ‘Our law enables us to implement private power projects,’ said Homsi. ‘We have not used it so far, but given our investment requirements for power in the future it will be a strategic matter to introduce private power.’

Syria’s power demand requirements are growing by an average of 5 per cent a year, with peak demand expected to reach between 7,500-10,000 MW. Peak demand stood at almost 4,800 MW in 2002.