The Egyptian government is preparing the market for a possible third LNG import terminal for private use, even though the tender for the second is not settled and will not be for some time, sources say.

Last week, Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (EGAS) Chairman Khaled Abdel Badie reiterated to local media that the state is allowing private companies to import gas, a measure introduced in January 2014.

A source working within Egypt’s energy sector, who did not wish to be named, said Badie’s comments were a signal the government is open to a third FSRU in Egypt to make gas available for private sales.

Hany Genena, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage, agreed the repeated announcement likely referred to the ability of selected licensed firms in Egypt – such as Qalaa Holdings via its subsidiary Taqa Arabia – to invest in regasification terminals in order to import gas and sell it to local customers.

“The decision comes within the context of liberalizing the upstream gas sector in Egypt, which also includes the direct purchase of natural gas from oil and gas majors operating in Egypt. The latter can in turn import from third parties outside Egypt such as BG Group’s intention in the case of ELNG,” he said.

Neither Qalaa Holdings nor Taqa Arabia wished to comment on whether they were intending to invest in importing gas into Egypt; However, Taqa Arabia Chairman Khaled Abu Bakr told local media outlet Daily News Egypt at the start of May that LNG imports were initially proposed by his company five years ago so that it could buy gas and sell it to clients privately.

Source: Interfax