CAIRO - 29 January 2021: Bloomberg has announced that Egypt is on the course to become one of the world's top 10 natural gas exporters if it reaches full capacity in 2021, backed by the country's endeavors to boost its exports of liquified natural gas, through restarting one of its two production plants.
In its report published on Thursday, the US economic news site quoted Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tareq El Molla as saying in an interview Wednesday with Dubai-based consultancy Gulf Intelligence that the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant in Damietta, which has been idled for eight years, will reopen by the end of February.
It will process about 4.5 million tons of LNG a year and raise the nation's capacity to 12.5 million tons, el Molla said.
“In 2020, the prices were very low and we were not able to export except for a few cargoes,” El Molla said. “But starting from October 2020 until now, we have already booked all our volumes to be exported from the Idku plant up till the end of March.”
In the next two weeks, Egyptian state firms EGPC and EGAS will offer onshore and offshore exploration blocks for bids from energy companies, El Molla added.
Egypt plans to use its position on Europe's doorstep to become a major supplier to the continent, which is transitioning away from dirtier fossil fuels such as oil and coal.
LNG prices have recovered since late last year, thanks in part to the development and roll-out of virus vaccines. Prices spiked in Asia this month because of a severe winter.