Israel is reportedly considering a $200 million project that would connect its natural gas grid with an Egyptian grid, in an attempt to boost the Jewish state’s energy exports.
Citing Israel’s Energy Ministry and industry sources close to the discussions, Reuters reported Thursday that the new onshore pipeline, which would run through the north of the Sinai Peninsula, could be operational within two years.
The sources said the new pipeline would allow Israel to export another 3 to 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year to Egypt, adding to the 5 bcm it is currently supplying each year via an underwater pipeline.
“Israel and Egypt are holding talks on possible cooperation in the supply of natural gas. One of the options being studied, following a request by Egypt for further natural gas supplies, is an onshore gas pipeline,” the Energy Ministry said.
The route of the pipeline — which will be owned by government-owned corporation Israel Natural Gas Lines — was in the process of being approved by local authorities, according to the ministry.
The sources quoted in the report also said the new pipeline would not affect plans to build another underwater pipeline to export natural gas from the offshore Leviathan field for liquefaction in Egypt, where it can then be shipped to Europe and Asia.
The plan for the new underwater pipeline was announced in February as Egypt’s energy minister visited Israel and called for further energy cooperation between the countries.
Israel began pumping gas from Leviathan in December 2019 and exporting to Egypt the following month.