The first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from Egypt recently arrived in France at Gaz de France's LNG terminal at Montoir-de-Bretagne in the presence of Hatem Seif el Nasr, the Egyptian Ambassador to France, and Jean-François Cirelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gaz de France. The LNG tanker Edouard LD had left the port of Idku, not far from Alexandria, on July 14, 2005.
In October 2002, Gaz de France signed a 20-year supply contract to purchase an annual volume of 4.8 billion cubic metres of gas (approximately 55 TWh), representing the entire output of unit 1 of the Idku facility built and operated by Egyptian LNG, a company jointly owned by British Gas, the Malaysian company Petronas, the Egyptian companies EGPC and EGAS, and Gaz de France.
Gaz de France also plans to ship Egyptian LNG to its future terminal at Fos Cavaou near Marseilles, due to be commissioned in 2007. The Group will use its fleet of nine LNG tankers to carry all its cargoes, and will ensure deliveries to other European ports, in Spain in particular, as well as in North America. Deliveries will begin in November 2005 at the average rate of 60 cargoes per year, or one cargo delivered every six days.
This new commercial relationship enables Gaz de France to enjoy greater flexibility in the management of its supplies and opens up trading opportunities for the Group in the entire Atlantic basin. It also allows Gaz de France to demonstrate its ability both to strengthen and to optimize its positions not only as a European energy company but also as a major partner on the LNG market.
Jean-François Cirelli, Chairman and CEO of Gaz de France, made the following statement: “We are delighted to count Egypt among our principal suppliers of liquefied natural gas. This new partnership illustrates the dynamism and know-how of Gaz de France in the liquefied natural gas industry, a sector currently enjoying rapid growth worldwide.”
Hatem Seif el Nasr, the Egyptian Ambassador to France, said: “The arrival of the first LNG tanker represents a gigantic step in the economic cooperation between two major Mediterranean regions. It is the fruit of outstanding collaboration between the two French and Egyptian gas companies. This project corresponds to one of Egypt's major ambitions, justified by our expertise and the enormous potential of this initiative: an ambition for innovation, for progress and an ambition for the Egyptian population as a whole. We are delighted and thrilled by this project… The Gaz de France contract will give a major boost to economic cooperation between France and Egypt.”