Israel, Egypt and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost natural gas exports, which is looking for ways to cut its gas dependency on Russia.
Under the agreement signed this morning (Wednesday) in Cairo, Israeli gas will be pipelined to Egypt, where it will undergo liquefaction and then be re-exported to Europe. This process is already taking place, but in relatively small quantities.
Egypt began exporting Israeli gas in 2020, and this year the demand has hit record highs.
The MoU also mentions that the EU will encourage European companies to participate in Egyptian and Israeli gas exploration tenders, promote carbon caption techniques, and encourage cooperation on green hydrogen and energy efficiency.
The agreement recognizes the central role of natural gas in the EU’s energy market until 2030 – after which its use is expected to decline in order to keep up with the zero-emission economy 2050 deadline.
“We are turning Israel into a key player in the global energy market!” tweeted Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “For the first time in history, Israel will cooperate with Egypt, and export local gas to the European Union.”
“With this agreement we will work on the stable delivery of natural gas to the EU from the East Med region,” tweeted EU Commission President Ursula von den Leyen, who attended the signing. “This will contribute to our energy security. And we are building infrastructure fir for renewables – the energy of the future.”
Last night, von den Leyen met with PM Bennett in Jerusalem, where they discussed the agreement as well as the need to enhance cooperation in innovation, climate change and sustainability. Italian PM Mario Draghi also met with Bennett yesterday, and discussed the upcoming energy cooperation.