Egypt and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement on Tuesday worth $200m to invest in supporting the energy efficiency of the Suez Oil Processing Company (SOPC).

The agreement was signed by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Eric Rasmussen, EBRD director for natural resources, in the presence of Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla.

Nasr explained that the project aims to invest in energy efficiency and improve its use and the consequent reduction of environmental emissions that cause climate change. It also aims for the modernisation of companies in the oil sector, she said, and will support increasing the production of high-quality fuel that complies with international standards, supporting the transformation of Egypt into a regional hub for energy exchange, which would contribute to creating new jobs and provide clean energy.

She stressed her ministry’s keenness to support investments in the oil sector, noting that there is continuous coordination between the two ministries to increase the volume of investments in the vital sector, as oil is the largest sector seeing new investments as a result of legislative and institutional reforms.

She praised the size of the EBRD’s investment in Egypt, which has reached 2.7bn spanning 78 projects. She pointed out that the private sectors share in the ministry’s cooperation portfolio with the EBRD is at 71%.

“Egypt received two sustainable development awards from the EBRD in 2018one for the sewage services project in Fayoum worth 186m and the Egyptian National Railways worth 126m,” she highlighted.

The signing of the agreement aims to raise the efficiency of SOPC projects in the framework of the Ministry of Petroleum’s work programme to develop refineries and raise efficiency to secure supply for the local demand and trim imports, as well as offer high-quality petroleum products.

It also comes within the framework of the national project to transform Egypt into a regional hub for the trading of gas and oil, as well as applying the highest levels of safety and environmental preservation, which tops the Ministry of Petroleums priorities.

For his part, Rasmussen said that the EBRD is pleased to support Egypt’s tireless efforts to renew and reform the energy sector. “The project we are signing today is a leap forward, which also affirms the EBRD’s commitment to support Egypt and its sustainable development programme,” he added.

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