Under the accord announced on 9 April, Enel and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) will work together on the development of the upstream gas sector, the natural gas industry and power generation.

The agreement will enable Egas to sell natural gas in the markets where Enel operates. “It will open the door to Egas to expand its presence in the international gas market,” says Petroleum & Mineral Resources Minister Sameh Fahmy.

“This agreement will support Enel’s strategy of diversification of gas sources and vertical integration, from gas production down to power generation and the distribution and sale of electricity and natural gas and the diversification of natural gas sources,” says Fulvio Conti, chief executive officer at Enel.

Enel is Europe’s second-largest utility in terms of installed power generating capacity. It operates in 21 countries in Europe, North America and Latin America and has a combined capacity of about 80 gigawatts and serves about 50 million gas and power customers.

Italy’s economy ministry has a 21.1 per cent stake in Enel and owns a further 10.1 per cent indirectly through state-owned Cassa Depositi & Presiti.