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A number of topics of common interest were discussed in order to speed up the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation in energy that was signed between the EU and Egypt in April 2018.
As a positive outcome of the MoU and the successful dialogue between both parties, Ambassador Ivan Surkoš and Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, officially launched the cooperation between the Ministry of Petroleum and the Port of Antwerp to develop bunkering activity in Egypt. Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Belgium participated in the event, together with the managing director of the Port of Antwerp.
"The Port of Antwerp has extensive hands on experience that would help develop a vision based on analysis and assessment of the oil and gas hub strategy, including its implementation plan and other information as needed. This vision is necessary at this stage where Egypt is keen on developing a number of activities related to its role as an oil and gas hub," said Ambassador Surkoš.
The aim of the cooperation with the Port of Antwerp is to develop the bunkering business in Egypt in line with the country's oil and gas hub strategy. The Port of Antwerp is one of the largest ports in Europe. It is a highly reputed port worldwide in terms of trading in oil and liquefied natural gas bunkering.
Since the last energy dialogue that took place in July 2017, a number of milestones have been achieved. In terms of technical assistance, an EUR 3 million programme to support the Technical and Financial Sustainability of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sector has been kick-started. Additional EUR 2 million have recently been added to the programme to support the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Unit at the Ministry of Petroleum. The EUR 15 million grant contribution in the modernization of the Suez Oil Refinery Project has been signed end of 2018 and the project is being implemented with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). At the same time the tendering process for the 240 megawatt wind farm in Gulf of Suez is advancing with a number of European financial institutions involved namely KfW, AFD and EIB. The total amount of the project is EUR 340 million.
A number of initiatives are currently in preparation, including distribution and grid reinforcement projects with the Ministry of Electricity. With the Ministry of Petroleum, the EU is discussing the upgrade of a refinery as well as an energy efficiency programme in a gas transmission project in Upper Egypt. The establishment of the second phase of the Green Energy Financing Facility with EBRD is well advancing.
In the energy sector alone, the EU has a number of ongoing projects and programmes in which more than EUR 300 million in grants have been injected, leveraging more than EUR 1 billion in concessional loans from the European financial institutions.