El-Sisi’s directives came during his meeting in Cairo with Maersk’s CEO Soren Skou who reviewed a project to produce clean fuel for ships in Egypt with investments of $15 billion, which will provide more than 100,000 job opportunities in various fields.
The meeting was attended by Head of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Osama Rabie and representative of the Danish integrated logistics company in Egypt Hany El-Nadi, according to a statement by Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady.
El-Sisi's directive comes is in integration with the state’s efforts to transform into green energy and preserve the environment, and in light of the series of modern ports that Egypt enjoys on the Red and Mediterranean seas’ coasts, in addition to the shipping lane of the Suez Canal, which represents the main artery of global trade.
Egypt has recently adopted a vision to be a global and regional hub for green hydrogen production, storage and export, signing in late August seven Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) to establish industrial complexes to produce green hydrogen in the Ain Al-Sokhna Industrial Zone, which is located within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE).
The agreements were part of the government’s plans to add green hydrogen – promising a sustainable energy carrier in terms of environmental and climate protection – to the local integrated energy system in partnership with the private sector and global expertise to keep pace with the global development on climate change and the current trend towards a green economy.
During the meeting, Skou also expressed appreciation for the extended cooperation process with Egypt through the SCA, highlighting the ongoing development taking place in the Suez Canal, which will qualify Egypt to become a hub for producing and supplying clean energy to ships.
The Suez Canal – the shortest maritime route between Asia and Europe – is one of main sources for Egypt’s foreign currency that brought a record of $7 billion revenues in FY2021/22, up from $5.8 billion in the previous FY, according to SCA's figures. In August 2022, the sea-level canal recorded its highest-ever monthly revenues of $744.8 million, in addition to the highest monthly transit of 2,125 ships.
Monday’s meeting also tackled means to enhance cooperation between the SCA and Maersk Group, especially in the areas of training, exchange of experiences, maritime transport, logistics, container handling terminals, and marine services, the statement said.
In mid-August, the SCA announced that Maersk was going to pump $500 million in investments to develop and upgrade the Suez Canal container terminal in East Port Said.
According to a statement by the SCA at the time, the project aims to operate a new 1,000-long container berth and increase the number of cranes to 30. These will be operated electrically instead of using diesel, which will reduce the terminal’s emissions and turn it green by the end of 2030.
In light of organizing the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in November, Egypt through its Vision 2030 aims to generate 20 per cent of electricity in 2022 from renewable energy sources, with the goal of increasing this figure to 42 per cent by 2035.
The country aims in the coming years to reduce carbon emissions, promote the use of renewable energy sources, and use alternative energy forms including green hydrogen as part of its National Climate Strategy 2050 announced by the government in May.