By Mohammed Adel
The Ministry of Finance has yet to provide finance for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power plants through the summer months, according to Khaled Abdel-Badie, Chairman of EGAS.
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) requires approximately $ 1bn from the Ministry of Finance to import the gas needed by power plants throughout the summer months. The money will finance 12 shipments of LNG, boat and pier rental in Ain Sokhna, and letters of guarantee.
EGAS has yet to sign with two oil companies to supply 12 shipments of LNG, due to the lack of necessary funds. Liquidity will be provided through signing and determining supply appointments, according to Abdel-Badie
He explained that an agreement was reached with Russia’s Gazprom to provide seven shipments of LNG, and with France’s EDF for five shipments, totalling 170,000 cubic meters of gas.
One shipment of liquefied natural gas meets six days needs for power plants, which consume 500m cubic feet of gas per day, according to Abdel-Badie. EGAS has also yet to reach an agreement with Algerian company Sonatrach regarding summer deliveries.
The Ministry of Petroleum signed an agreement with a Norwegian company last month to rent a boat for five years to convert imported gas from its liquid state to a gas, said Abdel-Badie. He added that boats will start to arrive at Ain Sokhna Port in September.
Egypt is currently facing a decline in gas production rates and a subsequent deficit of approximately 2bn cubic feet per day. Current output stands at 4.9bn cubic feet, compared with 5.6bn feet for the same period last year.