Caretaker Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar briefed Iraqi reporters on Wednesday on the details of the framework agreement with Iraq for the supply of 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in 2021, which has yet to be signed by the prime ministers of Lebanon and Iraq.
According to the minister, Iraq has agreed to receive payment in “lollars,”— which can only be spent in Lebanon and are currently set at LL3,900 to the dollar as opposed to the official peg of LL1,507.5 — via an escrow account at BDL. These funds would be used by Iraqi authorities to purchase goods and services within Lebanon. The value of the deal remains under negotiation, he added.
Supplies from Iraq would cover only a quarter of the Électricité du Liban’s HFO needs and about 12 percent of its total fuel imports, estimated by the Energy Ministry at around 3.8 million tons per year, including 2 million tons of diesel fuel.