Egypt to receive over $3.25 bn in petrol from Saudi Arabia by August

Ahram Online, Monday 12 May 2014

Monthly aid of $650-700 million in petroleum products set to continue until the end of August, says an Egyptian petroleum official

petrol station
An employee of a petrol station fills a car tank in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt expects to receive a total of $3.25-3.5 billion worth of aid in the form of petroleum products from Saudi Arabia by the end of August, head of the Egyptian General Authority for Petroleum (GAP), Tarek El-Moulla, told Reuters in a phone interview.

El-Moulla said that Egypt has been receiving $650-700 million worth of petroleum products on a monthly basis since April and that the aid is expected to last until August.

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia already sent $2 billion and $500 million worth of fuel shipments in the first four months of 2014, according to Reuters.

Gulf Arab states pledged $12 billion worth of aid to Egypt right after the 3 July ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, following a popular uprising against his rule. The aid included $4 billion worth of petroleum products sent from July to December.

However, speaking in his first televised interview last week, presidential candidate and former army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Gulf aid has so far exceeded $20 billion.

Egypt has suffered an energy crisis in the past three years, most evident in frequent electricity blackouts. Several government officials have attributed the power cuts to a growing fuel subsidies bill and declining gas production.

If Egypt is to secure supplies for power stations and cover other costs until the end of December, the country will need to raise $2.5 billion, Khaled Abdel-Badie, head of the state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), told Reuters earlier this month.

El-Sisi also presented a plan for Egypt’s economic development which he valued to be worth LE1 trillion ($142 billion).

His plan largely depends on financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Contributions from Egyptian expats and investments from domestic and foreign investors are also welcomed by the presidential candidate.

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