The Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El Molla has discussed with Ivan Surkos, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Egypt enhancing cooperation in different forms, including a joint project with Belgium’s Port of Antwerp, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

Egypt seeks to study international successful models in energy supply and trade, especially through petroleum ports, to serve the ministry’s goal to transform Egypt into a regional energy hub.

The Belgian Port is the second largest in Europe and one of the most important trade links between Europe and the rest of the world.

That meeting was attended by Abed Ezz El Regal, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) CEO; Osama El Bakly, the Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding (EGAS); as well as the ministry’s First Undersecretary for Agreements and Exploration, Ashraf Farag; Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Technical Office Osama Mobarez; and a number of the sector company heads.

The meeting was held in the presence of Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr; Belgian Ambassador Sibille de Cartier d’Yves; and the Netherlands Ambassador Laurens Westhoff.

The minister stressed the role of the EU’s role as a strategic partner to Egypt, with its continuous support for Egypt plans to become the region’s center for natural gas and oil trade.

Meanwhile, Surkos stated that several workshops were held this year to deliver the experience in energy trade and supply and that Egypt has all the qualifications to be a regional hub, such as the Suez Canal, and the natural gas liquefaction plants in Idku and Damietta.

The EU ambassador also pointed to the technical and financial support to Egypt’s energy strategies as a regional hub, noting that the EU is supporting the Ministry of Petroleum energy efficiency initiative with EUR 2 million, with a EUR 20 million grant dedicated to energy projects, and another EUR 50 million dedicated to project financing.