Coinciding with Europe Day, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla attended the Europe – Egypt Energy Interconnectivity event organized by the Swedish Embassy in Cairo, which took place in the presence of several government and corporate officials involved in the energy sector.
In El Molla’s opening speech, he highlighted Egypt’s central role in unleashing the potential of the energy market within the wider East Mediterranean region. “Egypt has proven to hold the keys to being a regional energy hub with a strategic location, well-established energy industry, and reliable infrastructure, helping monetize all potentials present in the East Mediterranean region,” El Molla said.
El Molla also emphasized that the EU is one of the Egyptian energy sector’s most promising partners noting that the two sides enjoy a long fruitful relationship and pointing out that the EU has become Egypt’s largest trading partner.
Egypt being the focal point for the energy market was one of many themes in the opening speech of Christian Berger, Ambassador of the EU Delegation in Cairo. “Egypt has a significant role in international energy transit, being one of the major economies on the African continent and the European Union has already a long-standing cooperation with Egypt and in the coming years, energy will play a central role in our cooperation with Egypt,” Berger said.
Swedish Ambassador to Cairo Håkan Emsgård also gave his opening remarks saying “Since we are interconnected to each other, we use energy much more efficiently than we would do if we were isolated energy markets. And, of course, in the perspective of climate challenges, in the perspective of all the discussions that we had at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh last year, this is extremely important.”
The highlight of this event was an engaging panel discussion moderated by Egypt Oil & Gas Founder and CEO Mohamed Fouad, which witnessed the participation of the Secretary General of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) Osama Mobarez who indicated that “The main objective of the establishment of the EMGF was that we saw there are a lot of resources in the East Mediterranean, a lot of discoveries, that have not been monetized due to several challenges. We have seen that we can overcome those challenges mainly through collaboration, bringing the different governments together and bringing the different stakeholders together.”
Further highlighting the importance of cooperation to realize both energy sustainability and security EU Ambassador Christian Berger stated, “We have always said we need our immediate neighbors, we need actually the entire world, I would say, to achieve the goals of the Green Deal.” He added, “We in Egypt find great partners because there is a very strong interest in Egypt itself to become a hub for renewable energy, which is a very important component of the Green Deal.”
It was during this panel that IEOC General Manager Mattia Campanati also expressed his confidence in Egypt as a regional energy leader: “We are pretty sure that Egypt will maintain and proceed as a leader in the East Mediterranean area.”
The event also witnessed a panel discussion between European and Egyptian policymakers as well as representatives of the business community, including European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Gelsomina Vigliotti, Hitachi Energy’s Vice President Thomas Krysen, Siemens Energy Egypt’s Managing Director Layla El Hares, SCATEC’s Global Head of Green Hydrogen and Ammonia and General Manager Mohamed Amer, and Copelouzos Group’s Chief Operating Officer of the Renewable and Battery Storage Business Unit John Karydas. The panel discussion focused on policies, priorities, and financial mechanisms to support the energy transition and connect Europe and Egypt in this field.