Egypt Scrambles For Gas Supplies In Run-Up To Presidential Vote

Cairo is racing against time to import gas in time for the summer electricity demand spike. Resolving the gas shortage, and keeping the lights on, will be a top priority for the country’s next president, expected to be military strongman and newly-announced presidential candidate Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Egypt is looking to secure gas imports to stave off a supply crunch over the summer months, according to Petroleum Minister Sharif Isma’il, as a shortage is already causing power cuts and reduced industrial output.

But the minister’s claim that a deal for an import terminal has been reached, as reported by the local press, has been denied by the company in contention for the project, casting doubts over the government’s ability to guarantee sufficient supplies.

Mr Isma’il, who spoke at an event by the American Chamber of Commerce on 24 March, told his audience that the Ministry of Petroleum will try and secure gas supply deals in March and April, so that deliveries would reach Egypt in July and August, when power plants burn more gas to accommodate the increased use of air conditioning. (CONTINUED - 1023 WORDS)