Egypt will launch a tender for a second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the coming weeks, which could help address the country's ongoing energy crisis, a source at the state gas board said.
High consumption, along with foreign firms' reluctance to invest in the sector until the government pays billions of dollars it owes, have turned the country from a net energy exporter into a net importer over the last few years.
Egypt can export LNG, which is natural gas chilled to minus 162 degrees Celsius into a liquid state, but it cannot import it without installing regasification and storage terminals.
The country finalized a long-delayed deal last month with Norway's Hoegh LNG for a floating storage and regasification unit that will allow it to begin LNG imports.
The oil ministry has announced plans to import six LNG cargoes from Algeria between April and September next year.
Plagued by a series of delays over the last two years, the first terminal is meant to begin operating by the end of March.
Egypt has been struggling with soaring energy bills caused by subsidies it provides on fuel for its population of 86 million.
It has begun to repay foreign energy firms in a bid to court fresh investment, but still owes about $4.9 billion to companies including BP, BG, Eni and Dana Gas