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CAIRO, February 4. /TASS/. Egypt expects in the coming days to finalize agreements with four major foreign suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including Russian energy giant Gazprom, the Al-Yaum As-Sabia daily news portal has reported.
The report quoted the chairman of the state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Khaled Abdel Badie, as saying that a joint agreement is due to be signed with the foreign corporations that won a tender for the supplies of 14.1 million cubic meters.
Under the agreement, 74 shipments of natural gas will be sent to Egypt over two years. The first shipments are due to begin in April after the first bloc of a floating LNG terminal at the Ain Sokhna port on the Red Sea is put into operation.
Speaking on the deal with Gazprom, Abdel Badie said a delegation from the Russian energy giant arrived in Cairo on Tuesday to complete the negotiations on gas deliveries from Russia.
"Intensive meetings with the Russian delegation are underway where the sides discuss the number of shipments on which a contract could be signed, as well as the date of their delivery, prices and a range of technical issues," the EGAS head was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Abdel Badie failed to detail when the final agreement with Gazprom could be inked, although hinting that the deal is expected this week. "Technical talks demand certain time to be concluded, and now the Egyptian and Russian sides seek to complete them as soon as possible," he stressed.
In January, Egypt's Oil Minister Sharif Ismail told Daily News Egypt that the country’s authorities had agreed with Gazprom to import 35 LNG shipments between 2015 and 2020. The annual amount could reach around 7 shipments, he said.
Egypt now faces the persistent shortages of natural gas. If earlier the country exported gas, now it has become the importer. This comes amid a reduction in production in the recent years due to the economic recession and Egypt's two "revolutions" of 2011 and 2013, and also an increase in domestic demand.
In October, Egypt’s authorities announced a tender to import LNG from abroad. Seven companies, including British Petroleum, Vitol, Trafigura and Golar LNG, made offers.