The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has decreased gas imports to approximately 700m cubic feet per day from the 1bn feet per day that it imported throughout November. The measure is a response to the decline in domestic consumption.
A senior official at EGAS told Daily News Egypt that domestic consumption of gas has fallen to an estimated 2.6bn cubic feet of gas per day from November’s figures of 2.85bn cubic feet daily.
The EGAS official said that gas provision has been restored to all factories, where approximately 906m cubic feet of gas are pumped daily to high-consuming factories, meeting their maximum gas needs.
Fertiliser factories receive 510m cubic feet of gas a day, according to the official with public sector factories, Abu Qir and Talkha, receiving 138m and 67m cubic feet per day respectively. A total of 65m cubic feet are transferred to the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) that exports its full production.
Moreover, EGAS transfers approximately 45m cubic feet of gas a day to Misr Fertilisers Production Company (MOPCO) factories and 90m cubic feet to Al-Masriya 1 and 2 factories, as well as 42m cubic feet of gas a day to Helwan factory and 18m feet to El-Nasr.
As for high-consuming steel factories, 210m cubic feet are provided on a daily basis, divided between El-Daqahleya which receives 100m cubic feet; Suez Steel, 100m cubic feet; and Egyptian Iron, 45m cubic feet.
The official noted that the Methanex factory, a Canadian company that provides methanol, has been put back on after a yearlong stop. The factory now feeds on 125m cubic feet of gas per day.
The industrial sector has faced severe power supply shortages since 2013 as a result of Egypt’s declining gas production.
EGAS provides 61m cubic feet of gas per day to cement factories that still operate on gas and have not shifted to work on heating oil, diesel, or coal.
The official said about 25m cubic feet of gas are pumped daily to Helwan Cement factory, 25m feet to The National Cement Company, and 11m feet to El-Qatamiya Company for cement.
About 1.3bn cubic feet of gas per day are exploited for domestic usage including use in cars, houses, and low-consuming factories.
Egypt’s total consumption of gas currently is estimated at 4.706bn cubic feet of gas per day, where 4.106bn cubic feet of local production is provided for Egyptian fields.
He said the two gasification ships in Ain El-Sokhna port provide about 700m cubic feet per day from gas imports, from which the gas is transferred through the national grid to be distributed to consumers.
The official added noted plans to introduce a third gasification ship which would arrive at the SUMED port in Ain El-Sokhna by the end of 2016 to provide gas for the new power plants.
The gasification ship stores imported gas in a liquid state until it is to be converted to a gaseous state and introduced into the national distribution grid.
On the other hand, the EGAS official said the latest modifications to gas prices for high-consumption fertiliser factories is still a matter of discussion and no modifications will be approved until a solution is reached and agreed upon with all factories.
EGAS negotiated a new price equation pertaining to factories obtaining 50% of their needs from imported gas, with a price of $9 per a million thermal units with the rest of the gas being transferred according to the price agreed upon in the contracts.
The average price of imported gas that EGAS agreed to supply factories ranges from $8 to $9 per a million thermal units.
Local production is not expected to fulfil the electricity needs of homes, cars, and the industrial sector during the summer. To meet this shortfall, EGAS will begin importing gas in March 2016 and halt its gas output to high-consuming factories during the summer to provide for an expected rise in domestic consumption.