The country of Pharaohs regularly suffers from blackouts du the worst energy crisis in decades. Rising population, intense heat and terror attacks on infrastructure made the unsatisfied demand rise at 20%. To ensure its energy future, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus in 2016 to build a submarine pipeline to import natural gas from the Mediterranean island.
The combination of increasing demand, decreasing production and high subsidies of fuel has made Egypt an energy-starving nation. In the meantime, Cyprus has been eager to secure alternative ways to exploit its offshore reserves. Conditions are then reunited for a strategic win-win collaboration between the two Mediterranean nations.
That led the Cyprus Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to sign a series of legal arrangements which will further support the delivery of Cypriot natural gas through a pipeline to Egypt where it will be used either for domestic consumption or re-export, mainly to African and European neighbours. Both parties said the aim was to get the pipeline operational somewhere between 2020 and 2022.
Tarek El Molla said on a press conference held on May 2018 that the planned pipeline connecting Cypriot Aphrodite gas field to Egypt’s LNG facilities will between 14 billion and 18 billion Egyptian pounds ($800 million and $1 billion). He also affirmed that Egypt hopes to halt gas imports by 2019 after achieving self-sufficiency.
Take profit of the US new economic sanctions on Iran
The Egyptian government is willing to capitalise on its strategic location straddling the Suez Canal and the land bridge between Africa and the Middle-East as well as its developing infrastructure to turn Egypt into a trading and distribution hub for the region, knowing that the US reactivated its economic sanctions on Iran, one of the world’s Gas giants. The country is targeting $10 billion in foreign investment in the hydrocarbon sector in the current fiscal year.
The success and the popularity of Al-Sisi’s new government will partly depend on how well he tackles the situation of energy shortage. Frequent blackouts and fuel shortage were indeed two of the many reasons protesters marched against Mohamed Morsi, Al Sisi’s predecessor.
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