Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) will offer a tender in January for the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the second quarter of 2018, Daily News Egypt reports.

EGAS plans to import approximately 80 LNG cargoes worth $1.8 billion during fiscal year (FY) 2017/2018, 32.2% less than the 118 cargoes imported during the previous fiscal year, according to the newspaper.

Rising natural gas production is permitting the government to cut back on its LNG imports.

With the new output from the Zohr natural gas field, Egypt is now producing  5.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d).

The natural gas from the Zohr field will permit the government to decrease its LNG imports by three cargoes a month, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, said, according to Amwal Al Ghad.

The government is aiming to achieve natural gas self-sufficiency in 2018 as production continues to rise.

EGAS plans to purchase 12 cargoes of LNG to meet Egypt’s natural gas needs in the first quarter of 2018 , sources told Reuters in November.