Reduction of natural gas prices temporary – PM

Sunday 13-03-2016 07:33 PM

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail. Reuters photo

CAIRO, Mar 13 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's prime minister said on Sunday the decision to reduce natural gas prices for iron and steel factories is temporary and will last one year.

Last Wednesday, the government decided to reduce natural gas prices to iron and steel factories from $7 to $4.5 per one million thermal units.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said in a statement today that the decision aims to help factories operate at full capacity after having to operate at only 20 per cent of their capacity because of high gas prices.

Egypt, which relies heavily on natural gas for electricity generation in households and factories, is seeking to double its natural gas production by the second quarter of 2017.

Italian oil and gas Company Eni made a gas discovery in Egypt's deep waters in August 2014, that "could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas," Eni said at the time.

Since the 2011 Uprising that toppled long-serving President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has been hit by a number of energy shortage crises that caused electricity blackouts and sparked public anger. The crisis peaked in 2014 but relatively eased in 2015 after the government adopted an emergency energy plan to tackle the power cuts.

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