Egypt’s state-owned gas company EGAS has tendered to buy at least 48 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for delivery in 2015/16, three traders said.
A senior official at EGAS confirmed that there was a tender for multiple LNG cargoes during Egypt’s 2015/16 financial year, which runs from July 2015 to June 2016, but declined to say how many cargoes.
The official told Reuters that the result of the tender was due by the end of this month and that seven companies had bid, adding that the contract would be split among multiple companies.
Egypt finalised a long-delayed deal last month with Norway’s Hoegh LNG for a floating storage and regasification unit that will allow the country to begin importing LNG.
After repeated delays, it is currently expected to launch at the end of March, in time to receive the tendered cargoes.
Egypt has struggled with soaring energy bills caused by high subsidies it provides on fuel for its population of 86 million. The subsidies have turned Egypt from a net energy exporter into a net importer over the last few years.
Egypt can export LNG but cannot currently import it.
“The tender has been postponed and re-issued a couple of times,” a trader said.
“There’s also the question of if they have the dollars to finance it.”
A second trader said that sellers were likely to be cautious due to Egypt’s credit history.
“They won’t get as much as they want,” he said.