Egypt to convert 1.8m vehicles to dual fuel engines
London, August 7, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The Egyptian government plans to triple the number of natural gas filling stations in the country from 190 to 556 in 2020 as part a five-year national programme to convert 1.8 Million cars to run on both natural gas and gasoline. (Dual fuel engines)
Through the initiative, owners of vehicles over 20 years old will receive low interest loans through MSME Development Agency to purchase new dual-fuel engine vehicle. Owners of newer vehicles can access zero interest finance to outfit them with new engines.
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The national conversion project follows up on a 2009 scheme that sought to replace 70,000 old taxicabs with zero- interest loan new vehicles fitted with dual fuel engines
Manufacturers in the country have shown interest in the scheme. Toyota agreed to manufacture 240,000 natural gas-powered minibuses. Volkswagen said it was keen to produce natural gas cars locally. 11 global auto companies were approached by The Arab Organisation for industrialisation to partner on replacing diesel buses with natural gas-powered vehicles.
Although the programme fits into the standard Egyptian government’s effort to utilise natural gas in the country, officials say that this scheme is targeted at ameliorating the cost of living. Whereas a litter of 80-octane gasoline, (the cheapest) fetches $0.39, the same volume of natural gas can be purchased for $0.21, at any of Egypt’s filling stations.
A key player in the government’s implementation of this programme is the Egyptian International Gas Technology (Gastec), a joint stock company affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, established on June 1996 pursuant to the Egyptian Investment Law # 8 of year 1997 on the Investment Guarantees and incentives with 60% participation of Egyptian companies and 40% of ENI International B.V.
Gastec runs 100 out of the 190 natural gas filling stations currently in the country. It plans to open 23 new natural gas filling stations and five integrated natural gas and gasoline stations in 2020.