The General Union for Engineering and Mineral Industries requested the reduction of the price of natural gas for aluminium, metal and fertilisers plants in a conference held Sunday.
The head of the union, Khaled El-Fekki, said the request comes following the government’s decision to reduce natural gas prices for steel factories, state-run MENA reported.
Last week, Minister of Industry Tarek Qabil announced that the government will reduce the price of natural gas provided to steel and iron factories from $7 to $4.5 per 1m BTUs.
According to the minister, the decision was taken to reduce the amount of foreign currency paid to import steel from abroad.
Qabil hopes the decision will contribute to the resumption of suspended factory operations, expecting that the steel export bill will consequently increase to $600m, which is expected to draw $170m into the country in tax revenues.
The price of natural gas supplies for factories increased in 2014 as part of a larger government plan to reduce energy subsidies.
Fertiliser and ceramic plants, which export their products outside the country to world market prices, receive 1m BTUs of gas at an average price of $3. The highest price bracket is recorded at $6 per 1m BTUs for cement plants, which is above the international average price for natural gas.