Japan agrees to third Syrian plant loan

Japan plans to extend a loan of (US)$462 million to Syria for a 60-MW gas-fired power plant to be sited in Al-Zara, 200-km north of Damascus. This is the third such loan from Japan, with a total value of (US)$1.45 billion. Pay-back agreements range from 25 to 30 years, with grace periods of 7 to 10 years. Construction is expected to take approximately 30 months and to begin toward the middle of this year. Syria is experiencing a huge growth in demand for electricity and currently has seven projects under way which will more than double the country`s capacity to 6,770 MW by 1999.