The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) has agreed to grant the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) $1bn in the form of letters of credit to import crude oil, as the country’s fuel shortage escalates.
Mahmoud Montaser, NBE board member, said “the bank approved granting EGPC the loan with the prerequisite that it acquires a guarantee from the Ministry of Finance.”
“The bank means to provide letters of credit to the EGPC on monthly basis and the value of each will range between $70 and $90 million,” Montaser said, adding that the loan would be used to purchase crude oil from Libya.
When asked whether or not the EGPC’s rising debts were the reason behind the request for the guarantee, Montaser clarified that there are no fears that the corporation will not be able to reimburse the loan.
“We requested that the EGPC provide us with a guarantee to the loan’s value because the amount demanded exceeds the maximum limits for any individual client,” he said.
The state-owned corporation has been delaying payments in excess of $1bn owed to ENI, an Italian oil and gas company, as well as British Petroleum, and British Gas Group.
Al Borsa newspaper reported that the EGPC will use the NBE loan to import 30,000 barrels of crude oil per day for a year.