Dear Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure and honour to launch this important workshop as part of the EU-supported Energy Efficiency Capacity Building programme in close co-operation with the Ministry of Petroleum.
With the Ministry we have enjoyed a long standing and fruitful cooperation between the EU and Egypt which has led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Strategic Cooperation on Energy in 2018. This close cooperation is the fruit of the strong vision by the Ministry of Petroleum to modernize the Oil and Gas sector, thus paving the way for Egypt to become a main regional player in energy and also to ensure the sustainability of the sector at national level. Recent successes, and despite the he Corona pandemic, is signing of important exploration and production agreements with several international oil companies; as well as the inauguration of two major petrochemical projects in Mostorod and Alexandria. Another important milestone in regional co-operation was the signing of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) charter which targets the development of natural gas fields and maximizing the utilization of natural resources in the Mediterranean.
The EU is cooperating with Egypt in the oil and gas the sector through Capacity Building Programmes and in the form of combining EU grants with loans from European Financial Institutions to fund infrastructure projects in the sector. Let me mention two projects in particular: the Households Natural Gas Connection Project that aims at connecting up to 2.3 million households to the National Gas grid. It also includes an important social component offering support with the payment of the connection fees in line with the Presidential strategy to extend the national gas grid throughout the country and to maximize the use of natural gas. Another example is the Energy Efficiency and Modernization of the Suez Oil Refinery.
The project that we are launching today is yet another example of our close cooperation in the gas and oil sector. Its objective is the establishment of the Energy Efficiency and Climate Department as the focal point for energy efficiency within the Ministry of Petroleum and in general to support energy efficiency through a substantial capacity building programme including about 300 workshops.
In the future and guided by our Green Deal approach the EU is keen on partnering with Egypt to support ambitions for increased sustainability and efforts leading to the de-carbonization also in the oil and gas sector.
The European Green Deal is one of the top priorities of the European Commission. It strives to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050. Co-operation with our partners in areas where Egypt is already advancing like on the use of hydrogen will form an integral part of the EU Energy System Integration and we can share thoughts and experience in this field. In the framework of our multi annual cooperation we will certainly consider the green economy and sustainable energy as a key socio-economic factor supporting Egypt’s prosperity.
Thank you for your attention.