Egypt plans to issue a tender in three to four weeks to import gas. Shipments could start in the summer of 2013 to help meet growing demand for the fuel, Oil Minister Osama Kamal said Saturday.
Egypt, itself a gas producer and exporter, said in October it had agreed to import gas from Algeria and was in talks with Qatar for a similar deal.
Egypt has two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and a gas export pipeline, but industry sources say the government has diverted some gas contracted for export to the domestic market, which faced fuel shortages and power cuts in summer 2012.
“With regard to our government needs, whether for the electricity sector or for some government-owned factories, there will be a tender that we will launch,” Kamal told reporters.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of Arab oil ministers in Cairo, Kamal said: “As for the private sector, those who have permission will come forward. They probably have accumulated needs from new factories,” adding that some firms may decide it would be better to switch to imported gas.