BEIRUT, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Lebanese government on Thursday gave licenses to 11 companies to construct solar power plants capable of producing 15 megawatts of electricity each, Energy Minister Walid Fayyad said.
The companies, including both local and international ones, will have a year to secure funding, the minister added.
It would be a good sign to the international community, which has repeatedly asked Lebanon to reform its energy sector, he noted.
Fayyad said solar production would cost less than that via fuel.
Lack of electricity in Lebanon has been a chronic problem, exacerbated by the shortage of U.S. dollar which limits the country's capacity to import fuel for the operation of power stations. As a result, Lebanese households suffer power cuts for at least 20 hours a day.
The minister also said he plans to travel to neighboring Syria on Sunday to follow up on a deal to import Egyptian gas and Jordanian electricity via Syria.