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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Signed, sealed, delivered…

The eight-year Damietta LNG plant ownership dispute is now officially over after final settlement agreements were signed, the Oil Ministry said in a statement today. Some 40 agreements were signed to settle claims between the government, state-owned EGAS, plant operator Spanish Egyptian Gas Company (Segas), and Union Fenosa Gas (UGS), the JV between Naturgy and Eni, the statement said.

So who owns what now? Naturgy reached an agreement with Eni to exit UGS and redistribute ownership between EGAS and the EGPC, who will hold a combined 50%, while Eni holds the remaining 50%, the ministry said.

The plant already restarted production last month and loaded two trial shipments to China and Bangladesh. Oil Ministry spokesperson Hamdy Abdel Aziz previously told us that the final agreement to end the dispute and establish the new ownership structure marks the plant’s transition from last month’s trial run. The plant’s resumption is a key step towards our ambitions to become an energy hub and boost natgas exports to Europe.

Origins of the dispute: UGS filed a case in 2014 at the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over a disruption to gas supplies in 2012, and the arbitrator ordered Egypt to pay USD 2 bn in settlements to UGS in 2018.

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