Egypt – Europe’s essential energy partner

Ioannis Kotoulas
Wednesday 15 Jun 2022

Egypt is on target to become a regional energy giant and a reliable partner for the European Union in the provision of natural gas and solar-produced electricity.


The present geopolitical and economic upheaval in Europe has created new realities concerning the continent’s needs for energy security and regional cooperation.

In this context, Egypt is a focal state owing to its increasing capabilities in energy production. Egypt has the potential to become an energy giant and a reliable partner for the EU in terms of natural gas and solar-produced electricity. But this relationship has to be reciprocal, and the EU should also address Egypt’s legitimate concerns.

Concerning natural gas production, Egypt is poised to become an essential actor in the world’s production of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Its production has been on the rise, aided by upgrades in infrastructure and new international agreements.

According to Reuters, over the first four months of 2022 alone, gas export revenues in Egypt reached $3.9 billion, a huge increase compared to earlier periods. This output equals 2021 revenues and is 768 per cent higher than those for 2020. Future exports are clearly going to rise to even higher levels, thus making Egypt the de facto essential energy partner of the EU.

Concerning electricity, Egypt has the geophysical advantages of extended sunshine and a helpful territorial relief, thus being able to produce massive amounts of renewable energy from solar and wind farms over large areas. The excellent relations that Egypt and Greece enjoy are essential in forwarding regional cooperation in the area of electricity production and distribution, and Egypt and Greece are already agreeing plans to build a major underwater electricity transmission line connecting the Egyptian coast to Greece as a gateway to European markets.

The Egyptian and Greek ministries of electricity are currently studying the feasibility of this electrical connection with Greece. Greece is the closest-lying EU state to both Egypt and Libya, a factor that should also be taken into account when planning future energy cooperation in the region. The electrical connections between Egypt and Greece and between Egypt and the other EU states will be at the core of the new 210 billion euros energy projects that the EU is planning and which are themselves based on renewable energy sources. Green energy will also be the pillar of future energy plans on a global level.

The EU should not limit itself to gaining benefits from cooperation based on the huge solar and underwater potential of Egypt. As the conflict in Ukraine has created serious problems in the export of wheat and disrupted global supply chains, the EU should step in and actively participate in ensuring Egypt’s food security as an essential partner.

Egypt is the world’s top importer of wheat, and the EU, with its extended diplomatic and financial networks, should work to guarantee the steady circulation of wheat and other products in order to overcome the negative consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. It should work actively to bring about regional stability and the reconstruction of supply chains. These legitimate concerns, which have been emphatically voiced by Egyptian analysts and clearly presented in Al-Ahram, should become the focus of EU policy in a coherent plan for food security.

Over the last decade, Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi has become a regional hegemonic power in the Mediterranean, Africa, and the greater Middle East region. In the volatile geopolitical environment caused by the conflict in Ukraine, Egypt can also now function as the guarantor of Europe’s energy security.


The writer is a lecturer in geopolitics at the University of Athens in Greece.

A version of this article appears in print in the 16 June, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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