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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Al-Ahram’s 3rd annual energy conference kicks off with participation of Arab, foreign officials

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 29 Dec 2019
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Under the patronage of Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Al-Ahram Establishment launched the third edition of its annual energy conference on Sunday, held at Al-Masa Hotel under the theme ‘Energy, Investment Opportunities and Growth Horizons.’
 
In his address to the opening session, chairman of Al-Ahram Establishment Abdel-Mohsen Salama said that Egypt’s energy sector has the potential to be a key instrument to achieve sustainable development.
 
Salama said that the trajectory of sustainable development in Egypt reflects the vision of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, which is to put Egypt among the top energy producing countries, after the energy issue had been one of its major problems.
 
“The conference’s third edition is tackling Egypt’s golden venture opportunities, opening new horizons for investments in solar energy, wind energy, and other promising types of power that can be tapped. The conference will also be a chance to uncover the sector’s potentials and highlight how Egypt has overcome significant hurdles to reach maximum achievement. Moreover, the participants seek to introduce an integrated perception regarding the future of sustainable energy in Egypt and Africa as a whole,” Salama said.
 
On behalf of the prime minister, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said that Egypt’s government has set an energy strategy until 2035 that aims to make use of Egypt’s renewable energy wealth and optimise the use of renewable energy by some 42 percent of the total installed capacity. 
 
The minister unveiled that the economic and structural reforms that Egypt has adopted have helped the energy sector to add more than 38 GW to the domestic electricity consumption, which has completely eliminated frequent power outages and achieved safe electricity reserves. 
 
Moreover, according to Shaker, the electricity ministry is working on upgrading electricity grids through an integrated plan that aims at improving electricity distribution grids and intelli-meters with total investments that have reached beyond $4 billion. 
 
He revealed that establishing an electricity generating station from water plants at Mount Ataka is underway, and that it is set to be the first of its kind in MENA region using pump and store technology with a capacity of 2400 MW, in addition to establishing the nuclear power plant in El-Dabaa with a capacity of 4800 MG. 
 
The minister highlighted that several procedures have been taken to incentivise the private sector to invest in renewable energy projects, including the Benban solar energy plant, which has been completed and will be linked to the national electricity grid in October, adding that the project was awarded by the World Bank award as the best project in the world for 2019. 
 
He added that the renewable energy sector has managed to achieve competitive prices, recording 2.48 cents per kWh for solar produced energy and 3.1s cent per kWh for wind produced energy. 
 
Regarding intelli-grids, Shaker explained that they represent a paradigm shift for the future of transferring and distributing electrical energy, adding that a number of projects to install intelli-meters are underway. 
 
He added that around 160,000 intelli-meters have been installed so far, and that 1 million meters have been installed under the modernisation projects of three control centres in electricity distribution grids, besides the instalment of another 8.6 million prepaid meters. 
 
On the other hand, Shaker said that using electric vehicles is one of core pillars for Egypt’s transformation in the energy sector. Shaker said that cooperation is currently underway with a number of international donor corporations to prepare studies for the future of electric vehicles in Egypt. 
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla said that around 99 agreements in the petroleum sector have been inked over the past five years with minimum investments of $19 billion. 
 
He added that the sector’s production rate has reached 2.7 billion cubic feet for natural gas, while the previous highest rate recorded just 1.9 billion cubic feet. 
 
Highlighting the achievements of the sector, El-Molla said that Egypt has achieved self-sufficiency for natural gas and decreased foreign investors’ dues to less than $900 million. 
 
“Egypt has managed to implement its national plan that aims to deliver natural gas to households, as it has been delivered to 250 housing units, and to implement projects that target upgrading the sector’s absorptive capacity with a total cost of $5 billion,” El-Molla said. 
 
The minister also revealed that the petroleum sector has finalised the fuel subsidy programme, and that the ministry has put forward an international tender for oil exploration and production in the Red Sea, in the wake of border demarcation with Saudi Arabia, over a total area of 10.000 km2. 
 
El-Molla pointed out that all achievements, including the launching of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, have been implemented due to the boost that the political leadership has given the sector.
 
Meanwhile, Maged Mounir, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Al-Massaei Newspaper, said that the Egyptian government has managed to open the door to a promising future for all developmental sectors in Egypt, especially for the energy sector.
 
He added that President El-Sisi has drawn up a roadmap for Egypt’s future with a solid infrastructure and significant development projects.
 
“In the years that followed the 30 June Revolution, Egypt has risen from deterioration to growth, from crises to achievements thanks to President El-Sisi’s directives through promising plans and an ambitious strategy. The course correction after the 30 June Revolution has been reflected in the energy sector through the elimination of power outages by upgrading the national electricity grid, building dozens of electricity plants, and pumping significant investments in the electricity sector,” Mounir illustrated.
 
He also noted that the petroleum sector has also achieved unprecedented breakthroughs.
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