Caretaker Finance Minister Raya Hassan refuted the claims of caretaker Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil that she had refused to pay the bills of Egyptian gas which Lebanon receives.

Hassan, who sent a detailed letter to Bassil, said the ministry has already paid $34 million out of the $36 million to the Egyptian government for the natural gas that is being pumped to the Beddawi power plant in the north.

“I have not seen bills that prove that the Egyptians are demanding $64 million for the natural gas. If Bassil has these bills from Egypt then let him produce them,” Hassan said.

Bassil has claimed that Egypt had cut off its gas supply to Lebanon after Beirut failed to pay its bill.

According to the contract signed with Lebanon less than two years ago, the Egyptian government will supply natural gas to a power plant in the north to reduce the enormous energy bill which the country pays each year.

Hassan stressed that the remaining $2 million will be paid to the Egyptian government in April of this year.

The minister produced all the letters which were sent to her by Bassil.

Hassan said there were many contradictions and discrepancies in the statements of Bassil, noting that he did not show any official document which proves that the bills exceed $64 million.

Most of Lebanon’s aging power stations are run by fuel oil and gas oil.

(Source: dailystar)