Energy, coal investment could reach $30B in 5 years: Minister
Egypt’s Coal Conference - YOUM7

CAIRO: Investments in energy and coal are anticipated to $30 billion in five years, said Egypt’s Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman Tuesday in Egypt’s first coal conference.

Salman stressed the importance of coal use, despite the local and global risks and its environmental concerns, adding that it would continue to be used so as any country has its own energy mix, Youm7 reported Tuesday.

Egypt launched its first Coal Conference under the title “the safety using of coal as an alternative energy and its role in supporting the Egyptian economy,” held from May 11-12, with the presence of Egyptian Ministry of Investment and chairmen of a number of mega companies.

The stated objective of the conference is to raise awareness of the importance of coal use as the lowest-cost fuel to generate energy, and as a means to reduce reliance on natural gas and petroleum.

The conference discussed the investments resulted from using coal as a source of energy in the cement and iron production and the way it affects the Egyptian economy.

The use of the fossil fuel by European and Gulf countries as a source of energy within its own energy mix was displayed in the conference, with reference to Egypt’s plan of energy mix that has been put for the next 10 years.

In April 2014, the Cabinet issued a decision that coal will be used as part of the energy system in Egypt.

The decline of energy production has led to frequent power outages in several governorates that can last for hours, especially during summer months. In response, some residents have threatened not to pay their monthly electricity bills.

To increase energy production, the Ministry of Electricity signed a loan agreement worth $190 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD,) to finance the Shabab and the West Damietta power plants to increase the production to 2,250 megawatts.

The lack of fuel is the main reason behind the power outages, head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency Hafez Salmawy told The Cairo Post in March.

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