SMEDA launches an EGP 100m-worth initiative to convert cars to natural gas

Hossam Mounir
2 Min Read
Anger is mounting against recent petroleum price increases after government reductions in subsidies for the sector came into effect on Saturday. (AFP File, Gianluigi Guercia)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) signed two contracts worth EGP 15m on Wednesday with natural gas company Cargas to finance the project of converting cars to run on dual fuel, natural gas and gasoline, in addition to opening outlets for the engine oil sales.
The first contract aims at converting 2000 cars to natural gas with funds worth EGP 10m, while the second contract would see the opening of 20 outlets for BP Visco engine oil at EGP 5m.
According to Nevine Al Gamea, executive director of SMEDA, the signing comes within the framework of the initiative by SMEDA to convert 10,000 cars to use natural gas and the plan to open 50 outlets for oil trade with a total funding of up to EGP 100m.
Al Gamea pointed out that the authority has already converted 24,500 cars (20,800 taxis – 3700 private cars) and the opening of 36 engine oil outlets funded at EGP 132m, creating about 25,000 job opportunities.
She added that SMEDA is keen to implement strategic projects with a social and environmental dimension that aims to reduce pollution and preserve the environment, and in line with the government’s policy and guidance towards reducing subsidies on petroleum products, easing the conditions for citizens through the price difference, and maintaining employment opportunities for those who are working in the transportation sector.
According to Tarek El Degwy, chairperson of the Natural Gas Vehicles company (NGVC), the conversion economics are very effective for citizens. The project of converting cars to natural gas, implemented in cooperation with SMEDA, is a national project that contributes to providing state subsidy of petroleum materials at EGP 490m.
He added that the initiative will increase state savings by $194m, and its total annual savings to about $684m.
He pointed out that the consumption of natural gas is an eco-friendly process aimed at the protection of the environment compared to the use of other types of fuel.
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