Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Egypt investing in fight against industrial pollution

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Monday, December 21st 2015 à 16:12 | Read 1389 times

The Egyptian government and international lenders are launching a number of projects designed to reduce CO2 emissions.

Egypt investing in fight against industrial pollution
EGYPT. Cairo underground extension, a new capital in the middle of the desert, new cereals terminal at Damietta… after the opening of the widened sections of the Suez Canal in August, 2015, Egypt is pursuing its major public works policy. With a rapidly expanding population, the country has huge needs, especially in infrastructure. It is not forgetting its environment, however, with its focus primarily on reducing pollution.

The Egyptian government's main concern remains not being able to fulfil the constantly-rising demand for energy. Faced with a change in lifestyle among its population, increasing industrialization and a simultaneous reduction in its oil and gas reserves, Egypt is looking to diversify its energy resources and open up its energy market.
In November, 2015, the government signed a $2bn contract with the Russian nuclear power agency Rosatom for the construction of its first nuclear power station in the desert near Dabaa, west of Alexandria. The 4800MW plant, due to be finished by 2025, will provide stability in the national grid supply while helping reduce CO2 emissions.
This diversification will also include renewables and public-private partnerships are already in place in the fields of solar and wind energy. To improve energy efficiency, efforts are currently focussed on reducing pollution from conventional energy sources. To this end, the country has invested in new combined-cycle gas power stations which will enable energy capacity to be increased and the older, more polluting plants to be shut down.

Over the past few years, 45% of investment projects in Egypt were in the energy sector.

Water supply and treatment sector too

Another investment priority is the water supply and treatment sector. Although the amount of investment is less than for energy, the impact is just as important. Set up by the Egyptian environment ministry, the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Programme (EPAP) aim to assist the main polluting industries in the Greater Cairo and Alexandria areas in reducing emissions, mainly in their production processes.

With funding from the banking sector, the programme finances up to 90% of a project's cost. The major international lending institutions, such as the European Investment Bank (€40M), French Development Agency (€40M), Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (¥4.7bn - €35.3M) and World Bank ($20M - €18.3M) are currently supplementing EPAP II. In addition to this funding, technical assistance is being provided by the EIB (€3M) and the governments of Finland (€0.9M) and Egypt (E£17.5M - €2M).

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