Egypt to convert 377 diesel buses to run on natural gas in 2022

Hagar El-Shabrawy , Sunday 27 Feb 2022

Egypt has begun converting 377 diesel powered public buses in Cairo and Alexandria to run on natural gas during the current fiscal year at a total cost of EGP 200 million, Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy said on Sunday.

File Photo: Buses that use natural gas in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Ahram

The step is part of the country’s six-phase plan to convert the engines of 2,262 diesel-powered public buses — of which 1,962 are running in the capital and 300 in Alexandria — to operate on natural gas at an overall cost of EGP 1.2 billion.

The project is meant to preserve the environment, reduce air pollution, and make use of the country’s plentiful natural gas production, which has been booming thanks to recent gas discoveries.

The process is being implemented as per an agreement signed in June 2021 between the Ministries of Finance, Military Production, and Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Cairo and Alexandria’s public transportation authorities starting FY2021/22.

The agreement came within the framework of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to replace vehicles to run on natural gas in order to achieve the optimum economic benefit from natural gas and to maximise its added value, Shaarawy added.

The plan’s first phase comprises the conversion of 327 buses in Cairo and 50 others in Alexandria over a period of 15 months.

Twenty-four buses have been converted and are ready to be delivered to the public transportation authorities in both governorates so far, the minister added.

Shaarway noted that both Cairo and Alexandria have allocated the necessary lands to set up natural gas fueling stations to serve the new engines, assuring that there will be no buses running on diesel by the end of the conversion plan’s sixth phase.

The process also includes raising the efficiency of buses in light of the Decent Life Presidential Initiative and its goal to provide Egyptian citizens with befitting transportation modes, the statement added.

This comes as the Egyptian government is pressing ahead with plans to convert thousands of petrol-powered vehicles to run on natural gas as part of its effort to preserve the environment.

Egypt, which will host the next UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in November, is aiming to rely more on cheaper, cleaner energy sources and to increase the amount of power generated from renewables to 20 percent by 2022 and 42 percent by 2035.

During the COP26 that was held in Glasgow, Egypt launched its 2050 National Climate Change Strategy with aims to cut emissions in various sectors to maintain sustainable economic growth, promote the use of renewable energy sources, produce energy from waste, and use alternative energy forms like green hydrogen.

Egypt has also begun issuing green bonds to finance green projects, especially in clean transportation, becoming one of the first countries in the Middle East and North Africa to do so.

Egypt, through the Suez Canal Economic Zone, has set its eyes on transitioning to a green economy and its various industrial applications, such as green hydrogen — which is one of the most important sources of clean energy globally — to attract global investors and become a global logistics and economic hub.

Short link: