Egypt govt to revise 'mazut' price increase decision

Ahram Online, Wednesday 19 Dec 2012

After cement companies protest, promising factory closures, the government will compromise on planned price increases in the raw material that diesel is derived from

Egypt cement
Egypt cement (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s government will revise its decision to raise mazut prices for cement companies by 130 per cent, but this does not mean that new increases will be canceled, announced Hatem Saleh, minister of industry and foreign trade, at a press conference Wednesday.

Mazut is the raw material from which diesel fuel is derived. 

The new price hikes mean per-ton mazut prices will rise from LE1000 (roughly $162) to LE2300 (roughly $373).

The revision of the decision follows the rapid reaction from the Suez Cement Company — one of Egypt's largest cement producers — stating that the price hikes would force it to shut down two of its factories that depend on the fuel source.

Saleh told industry makers at the headquarters of the Egyptian Industries Federation that the state-run Supreme Council of Energy has approved companies and factories to import liquefied gas needed for industrial operations.

He added 18 companies had already applied for government permits to import gas and will start doing so in the coming weeks.

The private sector will also partner in establishing new power and electricity stations, especially after the Central Bank agreed to supply between $2-3 billion as a guarantee for joint projects.

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