Egypt is planning to convert 150,000 old vehicles to new ones running on natural gas, in addition to scraping 250,000 rickety cars and replacing them with new bi-fuel system models within three years.
The announcement was made by Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea on Monday during the inauguration of the country’s first vehicle fuel system conversion exhibition - dubbed Go Green - showcasing technologies for converting vehicles to run on natural gas.
The exhibition was inaugurated by the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Monday, accompanied by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in addition to a number of cabinet members and several representatives from major auto manufacturing companies.
Gamea said the country is targeting converting the fuel systems of 150,000 vehicles to run on natural gas instead of, or along with, gasoline in three years, with a total cost of EGP 1.2 billion (approximately $76 million).
The plan will be carried out within a three-year long period ending in 2023, with the help of the country's Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises Development Agency, which will finance the conversion process.
During the three-day-long exhibition, the trade and industry minister said around 50,000 to 70,000 cars will be converted each year, with an annual cost ranging between EGP 400 and 600 million.
She added that the country has already converted 47,000 cars to run on a bi-fuel system, with a total cost of EGP 252 million.
“The conversion of these vehicles contributed to creating 47,000 jobs,” the minister said.
The country is also aiming to replace up to 250,000 rickety cars, including microbuses and taxis, with new ones that run on bi-fuel systems.
As many as 70,000 cars are set to be replaced in the first year, 90,000 in the second year, and 90,000 in the third year, according to the minister.
The plan is meant to preserve the environment and make use of the country’s plentiful natural gas production, resulting from recent oil discoveries.
It also aims to reduce fuel imports, decrease pollution from harmful emissions, ensure the safety of drivers and passengers, and tap into the potential of under-exploited auto factories.
El-Sisi said during the inauguration that the initiative has been launched as a result of in-depth and integrated scientific studies and is in line with the state's strategy to raise citizens' standards of living.