Eni on Tuesday reached a series of agreements with its partners to re-start the liquefied natural gas plant in Damietta, Egypt and for the "amicable settlement" of disputes related to Spain's Union Fenosa Gas, the Italian major said in a statement.
The deals allow Eni - Egypt's main gas producer - to bolster its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, a key region for the supply of natural gas, an important resource for the energy transition, the statement underlined.
The accords, which are subject to European approval are with the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and the Spanish company Naturgy, said the statement.
The Damietta liquefaction plant will re-start by the first quarter of next year under the agreements, the statement went on.
The deals also allow "the amicable settlement of the pending disputes of Union Fenosa Gas and SEGAS with EGAS and ARE and the subsequent corporate restructuring of Union Fenosa Gas, whose assets will be shared between the partners Eni and Naturgy," the statement said.
SEGAS, which is 40% owned by Eni through Union Fenosa Gas (50% Eni and 50% Naturgy) owns the Damietta liquefaction plant which has a capacity of 7.56 billion cubic metres per year, but has been idle since November 2012.
Under the accords, Union Fenosa Gas's 80% stake in the Damietta plant will be transferred Eni (50%) and to EGAS (30%). The resulting shareholding of SEGAS will therefore be Eni 50%, EGAS 40% and EGPC 10%.
Eni will also take over the contract for the purchase of natural gas for the plant and will receive corresponding liquefaction rights, thus increasing the volumes of LNG in its portfolio by 3.78 billion cubic metres per year, the statement added.
"As regards Union Fenosa Gas's assets outside Egypt, Eni will take over the commercial activities of natural gas in Spain, strengthening its presence in the European gas market," it said.
"The agreement comes at an important moment, when also thanks to the fast time to market of Eni's natural gas discoveries, especially the ones in the Zohr and Nooros fields, Egypt has regained its full capacity to meet domestic gas demand and can allocate surplus production for export through its LNG plants," the statement concluded.