Egypt seeks 15% savings in natural gas used in generating power to increase exports

Mohamed Soliman , Wednesday 10 Aug 2022

Egypt seeks an average of 15 percent savings in natural gas pumped yearly into power stations nationwide to be redirected for export with the aim of bringing in more foreign currency amid the spike in the oil and basic goods prices, the country's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet Facebook page.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly. Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet Facebook page.


Madbouly made his remarks during a meeting on Wednesday with the country's 27 governors, where he reviewed the government’s plan to reduce and rationalise energy consumption nationwide amid the global energy crisis.

Madbouly announced the plan on Tuesday in a TV statement, saying that the country seeks to save "the big amount of gas to export and to get foreign currency amid the global crisis all countries of the world are suffering from, especially the energy crisis that has impacted many countries."

At today's meeting, Madbouly told the governors that saving 10 percent of the consumption of the natural gas pumped into power stations and redirecting it for export will bring in approximately $300 million per month. On the other hand, saving 15 percent will bring in $450 million per month.

"The more we can rationalise our electricity consumption, the more we will succeed in saving foreign currency," Madbouly said, ordering each governorate to draw up an executive plan to follow up the rationalising procedures.

Amid the current crisis, Madbouly noted that the country seeks to maximise benefits from its available natural resources, at the top of which is natural gas.

"We need to provide [more] foreign currency in light of the hikes of grain and petroleum products prices amid the current Russian-Ukrainian crisis," he told the governors, according to a cabinet statement.

The country's plan to rationalise power consumption includes applying daylight-saving time settings in malls and closing them at 11 pm. It also includes reducing lights in governmental buildings’ facades at night and after the official working hours except for the service sectors.

It also includes reducing lights in streets and squares, setting central air conditioners at less than 25 degrees in buildings as well as malls, reducing the lighting of clubs, stadiums, and sports institutions, and standardising the energy-saving LED headlights in lighting all stadiums and in youth sports clubs.

Over 60 percent of Egypt’s natural gas production goes to power stations to generate the electric power used in all aspects of citizens’ lives, according to Madoulby.

After achieving self-sufficiency in natural gas in 2018, Egypt has planned to use its position on Europe’s doorstep to become a major supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the continent, which is transitioning away from other fossil fuels.

This is based on Egypt’s huge gas discoveries and production in recent years, most notably the giant Zohr gas field off the Mediterranean. The gas field holds an estimated reservoir of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The prime minister tasked the governors to follow up on the procedures taken to save electricity in public institutions, clubs, and youth centres.

Launch of 100 mln trees initiative

During the meeting, Madbouly also ordered the governors to begin the presidential initiative to plant 100 million trees nationwide as part of the country's effort to increase green spaces and reduce greenhouse gases to combat climate change.

He also called for establishing central parks in each of the governorates' capitals and major cities to provide "green lungs" for citizens nationwide.

The initiative is set to be implemented in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental bodies.

Previously, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Sharaawy said that around 9,900 locations covering more than 6,600 feddans countrywide have been chosen to build forests and public parks as part of the initiative.

The step coincides with many projects launched recently to combat climate change ahead of hosting the upcoming COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian Red Sea city of Sharm El-Sheikh during 7-18 November.

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