Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla met with Mark Bowman — the Vice President of Policy and Partnerships at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) — and his accompanying delegation in Cairo this week to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the two sides.
More specifically, the sides tackles reducing emissions and clean energy as well as global oil and natural gas prices, which are witnessing a significant increase affected by the current political crises, in addition to reviewing the ongoing preparations for Egypt’s hosting of the UN’s Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP 27) this November in Sharm El-Sheikh.
During the meeting, El-Molla stated that Egypt is committed to international agreements that aim to preserve the environment and reduce emissions, foremost of which is the Paris Climate Agreement. Moreover, Egypt has adopted an ambitious strategy that supports the transition to cleaner energy use and the reduction of carbon emissions as part of its 2030 Vision for Sustainable Development and is currently working on an ambitious plan in partnership among all ministries concerned to use hydrogen as a low-hydrocarbon fuel source.
This includes focusing on the production of blue hydrogen in short and medium term as well as the production of green hydrogen.
Furthermore, the minister highlighted the importance of natural gas as a transitional fuel, as it produces the least amount of emissions and is adopted by most countries in the transitional phase towards clean energy.
El-Molla also noted that modern technologies and advanced technologies have opened a great opportunity not only to reduce carbon emissions, but also to benefit from, capture, store, and exploit them in other value-added activities, which was not possible a few years ago.
He pointed out that the petroleum sector is currently working on a number of projects that will reduce these emissions, namely a project to produce wood panels from rice straw, which is one of the effective solutions applied by the ministry to support the state’s efforts to avoid burning rice straw and exploit it instead to achieve added value by manufacturing it in advanced ways to provide products with a distinct economic return.
Additionally, there is a pilot project currently being implemented in partnership with the Italian company Eni in the fields of Maliha — a subsidiary of Agiba Company in the Western Desert — to capture and store carbon with new technologies.
This is besides the projects to benefit from flare gases instead of burning them in oil fields, which contributes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 800,000 tonnes, he added.
The two sides agreed to form a joint work group to identify clean energy projects and reduce emissions and prepare for an initiative in light of studies on the low-carbon path to be launched in the COP 27.
For his part, Bowman affirmed the EBRD’s appreciation of its partnership with Egypt in many fields and its aspiration to expand cooperation with Egypt in general and the petroleum sector in particular.
He also expressed the bank’s full readiness to support Egypt’s efforts to preserve the environment and to participate strongly in the upcoming COP 27.
Moreover, Bowman praised Egypt’s important and leading role in the region and the world, and its transformation — in cooperation with neighbouring countries — into an important and vital regional centre for the trade and circulation of gas and oil and a gateway to the African continent in many fields of energy.