October 24, 2015 / 3:08 PM / 2 years ago

Egypt plans to rent third regasification unit by early 2017

CAIRO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Egypt is looking to rent a third floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) late next year or early in 2017 as it works to plug acute energy shortages, the head of the country's gas board said on Saturday.

The FSRUs let Egypt import liquefied natural gas (LNG) and convert it to natural gas to feed its power grid, which is often affected by blackouts. More recently, the gas shortfall has led to rationing among energy-intensive industries such as steel mills and fertilizer plants, sometimes halting output.

Egypt's third FSRU will be used to meet the natural gas needs of industry and boost electricity generation, head of the state-run EGAS gas board, Khaled Abdel Badie, told a news conference.

Once an energy exporter, falling oil and gas production coupled with rising consumption have forced Egypt to divert supplies to the domestic market and it is now a net energy importer.

Egypt took delivery of its first FSRU from Norway's Hoegh in April, allowing the country to begin LNG imports. The second FSRU, provided by Singapore-based Norwegian group BW Gas, arrived in September. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Helen Popper)

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