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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Four global investment firms looking to finance Egypt, Cyprus’ USD 1 bn gas pipeline

** #6 Four global investment firms are looking to finance Egypt and Cyprus’ USD 1 bn underwater gas pipeline, commercial affairs head at the Cypriot embassy in Israel, Sofronis Papageorgiou, tells Bloomberg. The four firms, whose names Papageorgiou declined to disclose, have requested a progress update from the Cypriot government on the Aphrodite natural gas field. The field will be connected to liquefaction plants in Egypt via the planned pipeline. Egypt and Cyprus had signed the agreement to construct the pipeline last month, but construction remains contingent on Nicosia’s talks with shareholders in the Aphrodite field, who are looking to revise their profit-sharing agreement with Cyprus. Israel and Cyprus are also working to resolve a border demarcation dispute over Aphrodite and a neighboring Israeli field. However, “everyone has a clear mandate from their governments to get this done by the end of the year,” Papageorgiou says.

This came as Egypt and Greece gave Cyprus their blessing to push forward with gas exploration plans in the EastMed, despite objections from Turkey. “We have clearly expressed our support for Cyprus in its efforts to capitalize on the sovereign rights deriving from International Law regarding (offshore deposits) and to make progress in their exploitation,” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the press yesterday, the Associated Press reports.

The leaders of Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus also agreed yesterday to establish an East Mediterranean Gas Forum, Ittihadiya said. The forum — which will be headquartered in Cairo — will include among its members all countries that produce and import EastMed gas and work to closely coordinate the region’s policies on gas exploration and management to guarantee the mutual benefits of all the parties involved.

The three also signed yesterday MoUs to boost cooperation on investment, SMEs, education, customs, and social security. The agreements were signed during a tripartite summit in Crete yesterday at which the leaders of Greece and Cyprus both expressed interest in projects in the new capital and the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi sat down withboth leaders separately on the sidelines of the summit for discussions that centered around energy cooperation, economic ties, and regional issues, according to a transcript of his remarks at a press conference later.

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