BEIRUT – Lebanese authorities have said that they have received an offer from Russia to build an oil refinery in Lebanon.
“We received a general offer from a private Russian company, and it may crystallize with time because similar projects take a long period of time, whether with regard to gas for electricity or fuels,” Minister of Energy and Water Walid Fayyad told reporters following a meeting with Russian Ambassador Alexander Rudakov.
The minister expressed hope that the oil refinery will contribute to addressing the country’s energy shortages.
“After completing the necessary steps to crystallize this project and determine its feasibility and requirements, it will have to be presented to the Cabinet given its strategic and economic importance,” he added.
Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech that “a Russian company made a real offer to build an oil refinery at a cost of $1.2 billion” less than two years ago.
He blamed the Lebanese authorities for taking too long to respond to the Russian offer due to pressure from the US.
Lebanon suffers from a severe shortage of electricity supply due to insufficient fuel needed for power generation, in addition to a sharp rise in the prices of derivatives due to the collapse of the lira, and the lack of foreign exchange needed for imports.