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Egypt Turns to LNG Imports to Counter Blackouts

Egypt looks to import in the coming months the highest number of LNG cargoes in years as it looks to ease the strain on its grid and industry amid energy shortages that have led to rolling blackouts this summer.

Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co, the state gas company, is seeking to purchase at least 17 LNG cargoes for delivery over the next three months, traders familiar with the company’s tender to the market told Bloomberg

Egypt, which aims to become a regional gas hub, has been exporting LNG to Europe from its terminals on the Mediterranean with gas from domestic production and from fields offshore Israel.

However, Egypt rarely exports LNG in the summer months, due to high domestic power demand in the heat waves.

The extremely hot weather since April has already forced authorities to implement rolling blackouts as the Egyptian natural gas and power networks are strained by soaring consumption in the heat waves.  

Earlier this year, Egyptian Natural Gas Holding sought to lease a liquefied natural gas import terminal from providers of FLNG units to get ahead of the scorching summer season that routinely triggers power blackouts due to the heavier load.

Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd announced in early May an agreement between Höegh LNG, Australian Industrial Energy Pty Ltd (AIE), and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) for the deployment of the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) Hoegh Galleon, to support energy security in Egypt. 

The agreement with EGAS is for an interim period between June 2024 and February 2026. Hoegh Galleon will be located in Ain Sokhna, Egypt, for a likely period of 19-20 months, beginning this month. The FSRU is approaching its destination, but Egypt already started gas imports from Jordan to meet part of the demand before the floating LNG terminal arrives at its destination.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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