- Egypt and Israel have announced plans to partner and develop a natural gas pipeline on the Red Sea.
- The US $15bn project facilitates gas exports via Sinai in the Red Sea to the East Asian market.
- The project is symbolic of tightening relations between Israel and Egypt over energy projects.
Building the facility on the Red Sea is designed to open the option of exporting Israeli and Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG ) to the East Asian market: India, China, Japan, South Korea, and other countries, which constitute 70% of the global liquefied gas market.
Israeli Energy Minister, Yuval Steinitz confirmed the project during his recent visit to Egypt. The new facility will shorten the route for transporting the gas and bypasses the expensive passage through the Suez Canal.
Steinitz also announced that Israel’s natural gas exports to Egypt will begin in November as part of a US $15bn export agreement between Israel’s Delek Drilling and the US’ Noble Energy with an Egyptian counterpart.
The move to construct the facility on the Egyptian side of the border will reduce environmental challenges. A similar pipeline was proposed by Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Co which was to be constructed in Israel was scrapped after the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection opposed it.
The project is expected to thousands of job opportunities for the Egyptians during the construction stage and hundreds more during the operational stage.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal