Norway’s Kanfer Shipping, Egypt’s Leth Suez Transit and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) are looking to join forces with commodity traders in order to establish a strategic and competitive liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering hub in the Suez Canal by 2025.
Egas has initiated the establishment of a joint venture that will charter the bunkering vessel, take care of the administration, including daily operation, and also purchase its LNG or from other sources to trade it to shipowners and the shipping industry.
Leth Agencies and Kanfer said they are now primarily seeking experienced joint venture partners within bunkering and commodity trading who can take an active part in creating a business model for this “high potential and attractive” project in Egypt.
Egypt’s natural gas resources and liquefaction facilities are said to be one of the key advantages for LNG bunkering, which puts the country in a competitive position against the key LNG bunkering hubs of the world. Egypt has LNG sources in Damietta, IDKU terminal and the FSRU stationed in Ain Sokhna that give flexibility and more opportunities for LNG bunkering in both Port Said and Suez.
“The key LNG hubs of the world must import the LNG to their terminals, which adds considerable cost to the end-users. We are confident that the JV can provide competitive prices to the key ports and hubs such as Singapore and ARA. We believe that this will attract shipowners and influence their decision-making on where they will replenish LNG,” said managing partner in Kanfer, Stig Hagen.
Egas said it is able to allocate a substantial volume of LNG to this growing segment in order to make the shipping industry, Suez Canal and Egypt greener. “This will be an important step for Egypt and attract more business to the Suez Canal,” added Admiral Osama Mounier Mohamed Rabie chairman and managing director of the Suez Canal Authority.
Kanfer noted that as more than 20,000 ships are transiting the Suez Canal annually and all ships have waiting time before the daily convoy commences, they can use the time efficiently to replenish bunkers in Port Said, Suez, or other important ports along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast.