During an inspection tour of the plant, the minister pointed out that Damietta complex is one of the main pillars Egypt depends on to achieve its ambitions to become a strategic regional hub for natural gas trade and handling given its strategic location among Mediterranean gas producers and major European consumers.

He said the plant was re-opened after eight years of closure following a settlement agreement reached in December 2020 by Eni, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Naturgy.

As per the agreement, Eni will own 50 percent of the project while the remaining 50 percent will be owned by EGAS (40) and EGPC (10).

As for Zohr deep-water gas field in the Mediterranean, he said it sets a successful model of cooperation between the Egyptian petroleum sector and Eni, adding that it was developed in a record time if compared with similar big discoveries worldwide.

Eni completed the implementation of a land pipeline from the Zohr field to the Damietta plant as a prelude to export gas to European markets, he said.

Molla was accompanied during the tour by European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Kadri Simson, Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, EU Ambassador in Cairo Christian Berger and Secretary General of East Mediterranean Gas Forum Osama Mobarez.