Cairo and Nicosia have stepped up discussions over preparations for a joint gas pipeline project aimed at transforming Egypt into a regional energy trade hub, according to reports.
Arab News, citing an Egypt government official, said the joint scheme would see natural gas from the offshore Aphrodite gas field piped to liquefaction plants in Egypt for re-export to European countries and for use in local markets.
Pre-COVID, Cyprus has said it expects to supply Aphrodite natural gas to Egypt by 2025.
Despite major disruptions to many global development projects due to coronavirus, the Egyptians and Cypriots have remained confident of implementing the initiative to schedule.
The negative impact of the pandemic on national economies around the world will force many countries to act quickly to compensate for losses, leading to an upswing in demand for energy to drive industrial growth, the source told Arab News.
Egypt and Cyprus signed an agreement on September 19, 2018, to establish a direct marine pipeline.
During a virtual meeting, Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tariq Al-Mulla and Cypriot Minister of Energy Natasa Pilides discussed cooperation between the two countries in the field of oil and natural gas and ongoing collaboration under the regional EastMed Gas Forum platform.
Egypt has two natural gas liquefaction plants, one east of Alexandria at Idku owned by Egyptian Liquefied Natural Gas, and the other in the port city of Damietta belonging to the Spanish-Italian Union Fenosa.
Cyprus and Egypt are also going ahead with a 498km electricity interconnector that will have an initial capacity to export about 1GW (1,000MW) of power from Egypt’s vast renewables resources, mainly from solar energy parks, to Europe through Cyprus.
With an investment of €1 bln, the EuroAfrica Interconnector will be ready in December 2023.