Egypt on path to achieve self-sufficiency in oil products by 2023: Cabinet

MENA , Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Mar 2021

This was attributed to the great attention paid by the state to the energy sector, becoming a key driver for economic growth

Tarek El-Molla
Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt is on the path to achieve self-sufficiency in oil products by 2023 after it became self-sufficient in natural gas in 2018, an info graph by the cabinet’s media centre showed on Sunday.

This was attributed to the great attention paid by the state to the energy sector, becoming a key driver for economic growth.

The report noted that the state developed an overall strategy to achieve self-sufficiency of petroleum products.

This strategy is based on increasing oil exploration and production activities, developing the refining industry, diversifying energy sources, and carrying out projects that focus on reducing fuel consumption, it added.

The report stated that foreign investments in the Egyptian petroleum sector rose by 5.4% in FY2019/20 to register $7.8 billion, compared with $7.4 billion in FY2014/15.

The report also indicated that local investments in this promising sector went up by 90.9% in FY2019/20, hitting $12.6 billion, compared to $6.6 billion in FY2014/15.

According to the report, Egypt's exports of oil products soared by 95% to stand at $3.9 billion in FY2019/20, versus $2 billion in FY2014/15, while the country's imports declined by 53.3% to reach $4.3 billion in FY2019/20, against $9.2 billion in FY2014/15.

In addition, the domestic consumption of natural gas rose by 27.7% to record 60 billion cubic metres in FY2019/20, compared to 47 billion cubic metres in FY2014/15, while the country's consumption of oil products decreased by 27.6%, reaching 27.5 million tonnes in FY2019/20, against 38 million tonnes in FY2014/15, the report said.

The report indicated that several international economic institutions and credit rating agencies praised the Egyptian government's efforts to attract further investments in the oil and gas sectors.

In this regard, the World Bank said that the oil and gas sectors would see more foreign direct investments, backed by the expansion in exploration and production agreements with global petroleum companies.

The report pointed out that the oil refining industry attracted public investments worth $2.6 billion in FY2019/20, compared to $0.6 billion in FY2014/15.

Egypt's production of petroleum products surged by 16.5%, hitting 29.7 million tonnes in FY2019/20, versus 25.5 million tonnes in FY2014/15, the report stated.

The report demonstrated that the country's production of oil refineries hit 23.7 million tonnes.

The IMF lauded the Egyptian government's endeavors to modernise an oil refinery in Alexandria, with a view to reducing the country's consumption of petroleum products and their emissions.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings sees that ongoing projects to increase the capacity of domestic oil refineries will help boost the country's production of petroleum products and ease the burden of importing gasoline, the report said.

The Economist expected that the oil refining sector significantly contributed to pushing forward Egypt's economic growth.

The report also shed light on the most important projects that were executed in the field of oil refining and production, including the establishment of the Egyptian Refining Company's Mostorod Complex, which was inaugurated in September 2020, with total investments of $4.3 billion and a production capacity of 4.7 million tonnes per year.

Among those projects were the Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemicals Company's project to produce high-octane gasoline. The $3.5 billion project was inaugurated in August 2020, with a production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year, the report said.

According to British Petroleum (BP), Egypt ranked first in Africa and fourth in the Arab region with regard to refinery capacity by 795,000 bbl/d for 2019. 

Concerning the country's plan for converting cars to run on natural gas, the report stated that the number of gas-powered cars has so far reached 330,000.

The report spotlighted the state's efforts to expand in projects related to underground and electric trains to cut the number of car trips, noting that around 2,200 kilometers of metro and rail lines have been planned for implementaion.

The report indicated that the state has been working since 2014 to develop the electricity sector, with the aim of rationalising fuel consumption.

In this context, the state built a raft of gas-fired combined cycle power plants in Beni Sueif, Burullus, and the New Administrative Capital, with a total cost of around 6 billion euros and with a production capacity of 14,400 megawatts.

The report concluded that the state shifted to alternative sources of conventional energy to reduce reliance on fuel, as the total capacity of renewable energy power plants in Egypt reached 5,878 megawatts.

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