Political upheaval and bureaucratic inaction have stymied Cairo’s ambitious plans to fast-track import of LNG to address looming summer power cuts. Award of the tender has now been moved back to around October, MEES understands, and both volumes and contract structure are being reviewed.
The delay pre-dates the 3 July overthrow of Egyptian President, Muhammad Mursi’s government, but clearly a string of electricity cuts will not make the new transitional government’s job any easier. The scale of the challenges facing interim Prime Minister, Hazim al-Biblawi, and the absence of an oil minister, means sourcing LNG is unlikely to be a priority. The $12bn in post-coup aid pledged by Gulf states (see p14) could enable Cairo to make diesel purchases as a stop-gap measure. (CONTINUED - 814 WORDS)