As a positive outcome of the MoU and the successful dialogue between both parties, Ambassador Ivan Surkoš and Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, officially launched the cooperation between the Ministry of Petroleum and the Port of Antwerp to develop bunkering activity in Egypt.

The Port of Antwerp has extensive hands on experience that would help develop a vision based on analysis and assessment of the oil and gas hub strategy, including its implementation plan and other information as needed. This vision is necessary at this stage where Egypt is keen on developing a number of activities related to its role as an oil and gas hub

stated Ambassador Surkoš.

The goal of the collaboration with the Port of Antwerp is to develop the bunkering business in Egypt, in order to align with the country's oil and gas hub strategy. The Port of Antwerp is considered as a highly reputed port worldwide regarding trading in oil and liquefied natural gas bunkering.

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Since the last energy dialogue that happened in July 2017, numerous milestones have been achieved. In relation to technical assistance, an EUR 3 million programme to support the Technical and Financial Sustainability of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sector has started.

In addition, a further EUR 2 million have recently been added to the programme to support the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Unit at the Ministry of Petroleum. The EUR 15 million grant contribution in the modernization of the Suez Oil Refinery Project has been signed at the end of 2018 and the project is being applied with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

In the meantime, the tendering process for the 240 megawatt wind farm in Gulf of Suez is progressing with various European financial institutions involved, such as KfW, AFD and EIB. The overall amount of the project is EUR 340 million.

What is more, currently, a number of initiatives are being prepared, including distribution and grid reinforcement projects with the Ministry of Electricity. With the Ministry of Petroleum, the EU is discussing the upgrade of a refinery as well as an energy efficiency programme in a gas transmission project in Upper Egypt. The establishment of the second phase of the Green Energy Financing Facility with EBRD is well advancing as well.

As far as the energy sector is concerned, the EU has several projects and programmes in which over EUR 300 million in grants have been provided, leveraging more than EUR 1 billion in concessional loans from the European financial institutions.