Taqa Arabia and Dolphinus Holdings sent a formal request to Egyptian Natural Gas Holding (EGAS) to obtain a licence to import natural gas through the private sector in the Egyptian market.
A senior source in the petroleum sector told Daily News Egypt that the gas market regulation authority is awaiting the issuance of the law by the House of Representatives that will allow licences to be issued to private companies to import gas and sell it in the local market.
The source added that the foreign companies that applied to obtain the licence cannot be mentioned as of now.
It is expected to approve the completion of the gas market regulation law by the end of 2016, according to the source.
Dolphinus Holdings, founded by Egyptian businessman Alaa Arafa, with Israeli Leviathan Partners agreed to buy 4bn cubic metres of natural gas annually for 10 to 15 years. The company also signed an agreement to import fuel from the Israeli Tamar gas field back in March 2015.
The source explained that the companies’ requests included the destination of which gas will be imported and the quantities of gas purchased, in addition to the buyer in the Egyptian market.
Preliminary approval was granted for companies to import gas until the adoption of the gas market regulation law, which is being reviewed by the State Council to be submitted to the House of Representatives, said the source.
The source explained that EGAS issued conditions to allow the private sector to import liquefied gas. The conditions included providing data of importers, exporters, and consumers, in addition to technical information about the type of gas and its specifications.
The conditions also included that the importer is committed to obtain the required approvals, bear all relevant expenses of customs, trade, transport, and delivery, and any other expenses related to the concerned authorities.
The imported gas must meet the specifications of the national network of gas, as the oxygen ratio should not exceed 0.1% and carbon dioxide should not exceed 3%.
The conditions further state that hydrogen sulphide should not exceed four parts per million and should not contain any condensate at zero degrees Celsius and any pressure less than the delivery point. This is besides other technical specifications.