UAE provides petroleum aid worth $ 2B in Q1, officail
Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail - YOUM7 (Archive)
By YASMINE SAMRA

CAIRO: The Emirati government finalized a pledge of petroleum aid worth $ 2 billion during 1st week of April, an official at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) told Al-Shorouq newspaper Saturday.

Minister of Petroleum has announced earlier that UAE vowed to offer petroleum aid within 1st quarter of the current year.

Saudi Arabia has also started to provide petroleum aid early this month, said the source. This aid will last until September, Al-Shorouq reported.

“The Emirati shipments included petrol, diesel and mazut…This petroleum aid helped the government avoid fuel shortage crisis, as well as providing mazut for power plants, reducing power cuts during the past period,” EGPC’s official added.

The Egyptian market needs 450,000 tons of diesel, 300,000 tons of butane and 500,000 tons of petrol monthly. Each ton of fuel carries a government subsidy of 3,000 EGP (U.S. $447), which is a heavy burden on the state budget, according to data from the Ministry of Petroleum.

In the wake of June 30 mass protests and the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Emirates pledged $ 12 billion aid to Egypt, including $ 4 billion in petroleum aid.

Saudi Arabia and UAE offered shipments of petrol, diesel and butane worth $ 2 billion and $ 1 billion respectively, while Kuwait offered shipments of the national crude oil totaled $ 1 billion.

Gulf aid contributed to reducing fuel subsidies during the first half of 2013/2014 fiscal year, registering 64 billion EGP, while the interim government expected 70 billion EGP, according to EGPC data.

Egypt is suffering from a major energy crisis due to a significant fuel shortage, which has led to daily power cuts nationwide and has dramatically harmed the industrial sector.

Earlier this month, the Cabinet approved the use of coal as long as it abides by environmental standards, and increased penalties for those who violate regulations, in an attempt to overcome the growing fuel shortage, despite concerns over the environmental damages coal may cause.

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