Egypt launches ambitious strategy to shift from gasoline to natural-gas powered cars


EGYPT – Egypt has launched an ambitious plan to shift the primary fuel for vehicles in its jurisdiction from petrol and diesel to compressed natural gas.

The strategy launch comes soon after Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi was quoted as saying that “new cars will not be licensed until they are converted to natural gas.”

“We have the right, as a country, to license gas-powered cars only and to stop licensing new cars that run on gasoline,” H.E El Sisi said while addressing inaugurating a housing project in the Cairo.

To implement the President’s directives, the Ministry of Industry revealed that it is considering 1.8 million vehicles under the initiative.

Egypt’s Ministry of Industry further revealed that the ambitious strategy is set to be implemented over the course of two to five years, at a cost of LE 320 billion ($20 billion).

The ministry in its statement however noted that, converting 240,000 microbus vehicles running on diesel was found to be challenging.

To address this problem, the ministry of industry says that, these vehicles will be replaced with gas-powered ones, through a finance program that extends over four years at a cost of LE 53 billion ($3.3 billion).

New cars are also targeted in the plan with initiatives set to be launched to “encourage” car owners to convert their cars to run on a bi-fuel system (gasoline and natural gas) in case they are qualified to work with gas.

The ministry further noted that it is also aims at building 366 natural gas stations nationwide to fuel the gas-powered vehicles.

In an interview with 90 Minutes program on Al-Mihwar channel, Egypt’s Minister for Industry said fueling cars with natural gas will reduce the cost to half for car owners.

She also denied reports that converting cars to operate on gas harm their engines.

Earlier, former Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal said the conversion process will help the state save hard currency, reduce pollution and save other fuel sources for petrochemicals industry.

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