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Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Eni could invest in Egypt LNG projects

Eni wants more on the LNG front: Italian energy giant Eni wants to develop LNG projects in the region, including in Egypt, under a plan to invest around EUR 4.5 bn in upstream activities every year until 2025, Reuters reported a senior company official as saying yesterday. “We are fully committed to invest EUR 4.5 bn per annum in the upstream to bring on line new gas supplies,” Cristian Signoretto said at the Gastech conference in Milan, adding that developing LNG projects in Egypt, Algeria, Qatar and Congo is in the company’s plans.

We saw this coming: Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi discussed with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last week “leveraging existing LNG plants” to boost exports to Europe and raise gas production. Eni is already a key natural gas partner, producing around 60% of the country’s gas. The company signed in April an agreement with EGAS to “maximize” Egyptian LNG exports to Europe and boost Eni’s gas production at home. The agreement came a month after the Italian firm pledged to bring more than 14 trn cubic feet of additional gas to the global market and mitigate Europe’s energy crisis by “leveraging established alliances with producing countries,” including Egypt.

REMEMBER- Eni holds a 50% stake in the Damietta LNG plant, which has an annual production capacity of 5.2 mn tons. The plant was reopened last year following an eight-year hiatus, helping Egypt to achieve record export volumes in 2021. Egypt’s ambitions to become a regional energy hub have been advanced by Europe’s attempts to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels, with Cairo signing a nine-year agreement in June with Israel to increase gas exports to the EU through Egypt’s LNG facilities.

Eni isn’t the only one: Gas reserves in the East Mediterranean are the “obvious place” to help Europe kick its dependency on Russian gas, Chevron's vice president for midstream, Colin Parfitt, told S&P Global on the sidelines of the conference. “Taking Israeli gas through LNG plants that are already built to get your gas to market seems sensible,” he said, suggesting that floating LNG units could also be part of the solution. Chevron has a large footprint in the region after its 2020 acquisition of Noble Energy, which operates Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar gas fields, and is developing Cyprus’ Aphrodite field.

Chevron is also working with Egypt: EGAS signed an MoU with the American company in July to work on developing infrastructure to transport gas from offshore fields to Egypt and increase exports. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla discussed LNG plans with the company’s CEO, Mike Wirth, at the conference yesterday, according to a ministry statement, without disclosing details.

MORE DETAILS ON GLOBELEQ’S PROPOSED GREEN HYDROGEN PLANT-

The green hydrogen plant proposed by Africa-focused independent power producer Globeleq will be one of the largest facilities of its kind when it reaches its first phase of operations, according to new details on the project reported by Asian finance and ESG outlet The Asset. The publication says that the pilot phase will use a 100 MW electrolyser, equalling the size of the Scatec-Orascom Construction-Fertiglobe plant which was said to be the world’s largest green hydrogen plant when it was announced last year. When fully operational, the plant will feature 3.6 GW of electrolyzers powered by 9 GW of solar and wind power generation, the publication says.

Background: Globeleq signed an MoU late last month to establish the plant, which the Suez Canal Economic Zone said would produce 2 mn tons of green hydrogen once fully operational, with 55k tons produced during the trial phase. The plant is set to come online in 2026.

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