President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has approved the law regulating the activities of the gas market, which has been long overdue since it has been under preparations since October 2015.
The law, published in the Official Gazette on Monday, limits the role of the state as a market regulator, allowing private sector companies to directly trade in natural gas using pipeline and network infrastructure.
The Gas Market Regulatory Authority, an independent public body that will be established, aims to regulate and control all gas related activities specified in this law. It also ensures the availability of gas networks and facilities to third parties at the suggestion of its operators. It will also ensure the quality of services, attract gas market activities related investments and create a climate conducive to freedom of competition.
The tasks of the new authority includes the development of a plan for the liberalization of the gas market, which will be implemented gradually in stages, and determine the duration of each stage and the procedures necessary to implement them.
The law allows the private sector to participate in regulating the gas market through five entities: the operator of the gas transportation system, the operator of the gas distribution system, the gas storage facility operator, the gas transporter, and the gas supplier.
The law provides that operators and owners of the gas distribution and storage systems shall be allowed to use the system in exchange for a tariff approved by the Authority and in accordance with the rules adopted by the Gas Market Regulatory Authority.