Egypt’s advanced infrastructure is the cornerstone for establishing the national project to become a regional strategic center for energy trading, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, said during his speech at a meeting organized by Shell, Egypt Oil&Gas reported. The meeting was set on the occasion of the payment of the last installment of the loan provided for the establishment of Edco liquefaction plant.

The gas liquefaction plants located in Damietta and Edco will generate revenues for the Egyptian economy and will play an important role in the future in light of the gas discoveries made in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The meeting was attended by a number of oil sector leaders, including Shell’s Executive Vice President, Sami Iskandar, and Shell’s Chairman, Gasser Hanter, along with the heads of the international oil companies (IOCs) participating in the project.

The minister said that the natural gas liquefaction plant in Edco, which started operating in 2005, is one of the facilities that were established globally at the lowest cost possible at that time, which was estimated at $2b. The cost is currently worth five times its construction cost.

El Molla noted that the project is considered to be one of the most important projects of natural gas liquefaction, adding that it is a model for a successful partnership between the Egyptian petroleum sector and its foreign partners. The revenues of the project will increase during the coming period, he pointed out.

The execution of the project is also considered to be the fastest globally, despite the difficult challenges it faced during its implementation, Shell’s Executive Vice President, Sami Iskandar, stated.

He pointed out that Egypt holds both discovered and undiscovered energy throughout its territory, in addition to other gas discoveries in the region that can be exploited through the liquefaction plant. Egypt further owns infrastructure and has human cadres that had an efficient contribution to the project.

Furthermore, the government’s support had a great impact on the negotiations with the financing institutions to facilitate the payment and reschedule the loan until the last payment of the project loan was paid, Shell’s Chairman, Gasser Hanter, said.

He pointed out that Egypt is moving in the right direction, which contributed to the return of investments, adding that Shell has been working in Egypt for more than 100 years in the oil and gas industry and is planning to increase its investments in Egypt during the coming period.