Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Monday the country’s first exhibition showcasing technologies for converting vehicles to run on natural gas, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said.
This comes as part of an Egyptian strategy to convert hundreds of thousands of vehicles to run on natural gas, instead of, or along with, gasoline.
The strategy aims to reduce fuel imports, decrease pollution from harmful emissions, ensure the safety of drivers and passengers, and tap into the potential of unexploited auto factories.
The exhibition, dubbed Go Green, is set to be on show until 6 January at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo.
The president was accompanied by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea, Petroleum Minister Tareq El-Molla, Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir and Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy, in addition to the presidential advisor for financial affairs Mohamed Amin.
The inauguration was also attended by several representatives from major auto manufacturing companies in Egypt that are participating in the initiative.
At the exhibition, the president reviewed plans and programmes of ministries and government authorities within the framework of the initiative, especially the programmes to finance or facilitate the conversion process for citizens, Radi said.
The programmes are also meant to provide information to citizens about the initiative, including its financial, economic and environmental benefits, as well as the state’s efforts to establish a comprehensive infrastructure for vehicles running on natural gas.
El-Sisi inspected the governmental pavilion allocated for the ministries of trade and industry, finance, military production, local development, environment, interior and transport as well as the Central Bank of Egypt and the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation.
President El-Sisi and a number of ministers inspect the government pavilion in the exhibition (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency)
He also inspected major international and local companies specialised in the field, Radi said.
The president reviewed the latest models of vehicles running on natural gas and the comprehensive solutions to supply vehicles with gas, as well as the latest developments in the industry.
Initiative based on in-depth and integrated scientific studies
El-Sisi also met with a number of representatives from auto manufacturing companies in Egypt.
He followed up on their cooperation with government agencies in light of the national initiative to replace and convert vehicles to run on natural gas.
President El-Sisi stressed on the "special" attention the country is giving to the conversion and replacement initiative given its "direct" benefit for citizens, who are provided with new, low-cost gas-consuming models with low-interest financial facilities and long-term instalment programs.
"The initiative is in line with the state's strategy to raise citizens' standards of living," El-Sisi added.
Egypt has launched this plan in accordance with in-depth and integrated scientific studies and after the provision of all needed infrastructures, including the establishment of a network of gas-fueling auto stations and service and maintenance centres nationwide, as well as offering affordable financing mechanisms, he added.
The auto companies' representatives expressed their hope to cooperate with the Egyptian government and "actively" contribute to provide the best offers and models with the latest technologies and technical specifications.
With the aim of preserving the environment and making use of the country’s plentiful natural gas production, the Egyptian government plans to scrap old and rickety cars manufactured over 20 years ago and replace them with new ones running on natural gas, as well as to convert hundreds of thousands of vehicles to gas-powered models.
In December, El-Sisi demanded to offer citizens, who own rickety vehicles, an appropriate cash incentive to encourage them to replace their vehicles with new ones that run on natural gas.