CAIRO: Following its approval of coal in the energy system, the government agreed on Tuesday to resume operations at the El Maghara coal mine in the Gabal El Maghara region of southern Arish, head of the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) Omar Teima told Youm7.
The Cabinet approved in April the use of coal in the energy system, in compliance with environmental standards. Using coal in industry as an energy source, instead of natural gas, is controversial issue that was debated between the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Electricity and the Ministry of Industry for the past few months.
The Ministry of Environment argued that the use of coal will harm the environment and such projects would need years to be implemented safely.
Teima said the coal reserves at the El Maghara coal mine amount to 21 million tons, adding that the use of coal will spare Egypt the need to import alternative fuelsI ncluding diesel oil and solar to meet citizens’ growing needs and to avoid frequent power cuts.
He said also that a Turkish company has offered to establish electricity plants run by coal in the Gabal El Maghara region to help overcome the current lack of electricity supply, along with establishing a cement factory in the region to exploit the raw quarantine.
The Cabinet has formed a senior committee to discuss the mine’s debts, totaled at 442 million EGP, which are expected to be repaid from its profits, he said.