The Idku liquefied natural gas (LNG) factory exports decreased from approximately 50 LNG shipments in 2013, to 5 shipments in 2015, according to a senior British Gas (BG) official.
The export figures come in light of the inbound gas shortage currently ongoing in Egypt.
The official said that for the factory to achieve revenue and expenditure self-sufficiency, it needs to export at least 22 shipment of LNG annually.
He pointed to the decrease in gas production from the Borollos fields, roughly 900m cubic feet of gas per day, compared with 1.2bn feet in 2013. The domestic gas market’s needs led to the reduction of the gas pumped to Idku LNG, with the company only exporting approximately five shipments during 2014.
A senior official with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) said that BG’s work to link its projects with the Borollos fields slowed down. The slower pace has in turn contributed to a strong decrease in the production of gas from Egypt.
He noted that the company delayed linking the production of project phase “9B” in the Borollos fields to the beginning of 2016, rather than the beginning of 2015 as agreed. This is in addition to linking project phase “9A” by the end of 2014, which is 10 months behind schedule, and contributed to aggravating the energy crisis in summer.
The EGAS official said that BG has to bear the consequences of the delay, and confirmed that they shall continue to reduce pumping gas to Idku for the needs of the gas domestic market.
He mentioned that EGAS targeted pumping about 100m cubic feet of gas per day to Idku LNG during 2015 due to the continuous field gas production shortage.
BG official revealed that the factory spends about $390m a year to operate and maintain the liquefying units as well as banks instalments.
He explained that the factory pays an annual instalment of $200m for a $2bn loan obtained by the company to establish the factory. He added that $1.4bn have been repaid so far.
He added the factory is designed to work for 340 days a year and should undergo maintenance for a month, with annual maintenance expenses estimated at $20m.
The BG official said the gas supply amount contracted with the Ministry of Petroleum for the factory is estimated at 1.1bn cubic feet of gas per day, where the actual pumped amount is less than 100m cubic feet per day. He added that the amount is even unstable.