Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum owes $400m to its German counterpart, RWE, a leading company in manufacturing coal and nuclear-based electricity generators in Europe. The amount accounts for the Essen-based company’s stake in oil and gas from its concession areas in Egypt, reported Daily News Egypt.

The source cited that RWE demanded its accumulative dues by the Ministry of Petroleum in order to continue pursuing its development plans in the concession areas in Ras Gharib, Ras Badran, Disouq, and Gabal El-Zeit – a site that has recently witnessed a big oil spill of 245 tons of crude oil.

The Gulf of Suez fields produce approximately 1,000boe/d, the government receives the whole production of the site in order to meet the domestic market’s fuel requirements. RWE’s operation contracts at the Gulf of Suez concession fields of Ras Badran, Gabal El-Zeit, and Ras Fanar are dated to expire in July 2017; the contracts will not be renewed as the company has not received its continuously increasing dues.

Around 1,350 employees’ job vacancies at Suez Oil Company (SUCO) mainly depend on RWE’s operations at the concession sites. RWE did not pay salaries to the workers in June in an attempt to protest against a decision taken by SUCO-affiliated company responsible for staffing to receive 45% of each worker’s monthly wage that is paid by RWE, which is a 7% increase compared to a contracting sum. Many employees who work with SUCO decided to strike at the company’s operation sites and administrative headquarters, added Daily News Egypt.