Caretaker PM and PM-designate Najib Mikati has “finally” won a U.S. green light to accept the Iranian fuel grant and Washington has made the condition that “there should be no political communication over the matter,” al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Thursday.
“This has pushed the prime minister to ask (caretaker) Energy Minister Walid Fayyad to send a technical team from the Ministry and Electricite du Liban (EDL) to Tehran,” the daily added.
Mikati has also asked for guarantees that the grant would not incur any costs on Lebanon, including any costs for exchanging the Iranian oil for fuel that complies with the Lebanese standards, the newspaper said.
The delegation has also been asked to “obtain a major grant that would allow for the generation of five hours of power supply per day and for a lengthy duration,” al-Akhbar added.
“The Energy Ministry has sent a memo to the premier mentioning the names of the delegation’s members… and after the premier’s approval, the Ministry sent a memo to the Iranian ambassador informing him of the delegation’s formation and its names and the possibility that it make the visit next week, in order to discuss all the technical, administrative and contractual aspects to put the grant on the track of implementation as soon as possible,” the newspaper said.
Quoting informed sources, the daily added that the delegation would seek to “propose benefiting from a monthly quantity of 75,000 tons of fuel, which would allow Lebanon to obtain five hours of electricity supply that would be added to two hours that are currently being provided by EDL through the Iraqi fuel and the hydroelectric plants.”