Sherif Ismail: Upgrading the Natural Gas National Grid A Major Priority

Sherif Ismail: Upgrading the Natural Gas National Grid A Major Priority

Sherif Ismail, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, asserted that there was recently much attention paid by the petroleum sector to the execution of new projects for the development of the national natural gas grid, the main artery that feeds the needs of the entire republic. He pointed to the constant follow-up with the status of new fuel pipeline projects to ensure their completion and operation in accordance with the schedule set within the framework of the state’s plans to meet the additional requirements for power plants during the summer.

This was during the proceedings of the General Assembly of the Egyptian Company for Natural Gas (GASCO), headed by the Minister, which endorsed the results for 2014.

His excellency worked to support business with Dr. Sherif Sousse, First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum for Gas Affairs, Tarek Al-Molla, head of EGPC, Khalid Abdalibdaa, head of EGAS, and Abel Fattah Abdulaziz, Undersecretary of the Accountability State Authority (ASA).

Karem Mahmoud, head of GASCO, explained that about 48 bcm of gas had been pumped through the national grid to the various consuming sectors of the domestic market. At the forefront was the electricity sector with 60%, followed by transportation and distribution companies with 20%, and 10% for the manufacturing sector, with 10% for petroleum and petrochemical manufacturing.

He pointed out that work is underway to implement a number of projects to strengthen the capacity of the grid in the distribution of natural gas to consumers, at the forefront of which is the plan to supply power plants with natural gas at a cost of EGP 1.2 billion, borne entirely by the petroleum sector as part of the state’s plans to cope with increased loads. He said that the Banha power line had been completed and the Edco-Al-Maadiya line to insure the expansion of Abu Qir power station, adding that work is underway to implement the emergency plan for the summer of 2015, delivering natural gas to West Damietta, Mahmudiyah and Ataka electricity stations. The coming summer would also witness the completion of projects meant to supply the power plant in North Giza (Second Phase) and Sharm El-Sheikh.

He also said that the first pipeline to receive imported LNG had been completed and is being operated in Ain Sukhna, which is 6 km long. The Qiyas station has also been connected at an investment cost of about EGP 77 million, all to meet part of the current gap between production and consumption project by importing LNG.

He clarified that efforts were continuing to implement new projects meant to expand the capacity of the national gas grid. He added that the current length of the grid was 7200 km across the country, operating at a capacity of 210 mcm/d of gas. He also noted that the Qena city line project had been completed and was operational, supplying residential areas with natural gas. There was also a project to supply homes in Mansoura, which was being finalized, adding that industrial consumers had been recently connected, such as the 10th of Ramadan industrial zone and the Alexandria Free Zone.

He stressed that the procedures needed to begin the project to upgrade the Natural Gas National Grid with the SCADA control system were being finalized, adding that preparations were being made to run a sub-network control center in the Aswan governorate.

He explained that the Western Desert gas complex and the Butane extraction plant in Umraniya had helped supply the domestic market by about 6.7 million tons of butane gas since the complex began operation in the mid-2000’s until the end of 2014, while the Umraniya pant had been supervised by GASCO. He added that the gas complex had produced an ethane/propane mixture which was transferred to the Sidi Beik company to produce ethylene and polyethylene, as well as exporting quantities of propane to foreign markets to support the Egyptian economy.

Source: Petroleum Ministry


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