Egypt repays $2.1bn debt to foreign energy firms

Egyptian Petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail

Egyptian Petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail

02 January 2015, Cairo — Egypt has paid a new installment worth of $2.1 billion of the sum of money it owes foreign energy firms, bringing its total accumulated debt down to $3.1 billion, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail has revealed.

Ismail added in a statement that Egypt also repaid $200 million of the Petroleum Authority’s debts to petroleum products’ suppliers and credit facilities interests.

Egypt has already paid two installments of its debts to “foreign partners”, Ismail said. The first installment, worth $1.5 billion, was paid last December, while the second, worth $1.4 billion, was paid in October.

“The ministry of petroleum is aiming to reduce the sum of money owed to foreign partners … to motivate them to pump more investments,” Ismail said. He added that this would help accelerate production rates and supply Egypt’s energy needs, whether petroleum or natural gas.

Since the summer of 2012, Egypt has been facing its worst energy crisis in years, with power outages on the rise.

Struggling to recover its battered economy, Egypt has been delaying payment to firms since the January 25 uprising which toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
*Aswat Masriya

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