The collapse of a deal under which the Segas liquefaction plant at Damietta would have restarted LNG exports in June is mostly due to the negative effect of the coronavirus pandemic. However, it highlights the difficult economics behind Cairo’s ambitions to revitalise its gas export business and eventually to turn itself into a regional energy trading hub. The plant stopped working in 2012 because Egypt did not have enough gas to supply it. Now there is almost certainly enough excess capacity but under current and possibly future market conditions the business does not add up.
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