The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will grant a $200m loan to the Egypt for the modernisation of selected gas infrastructure facilities, which are expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce impacts on the environment.

Egypt has an energy intensive economy compared to its neighbouring regional countries, making it among the top five greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting countries within the EBRD’s countries of operation.

The rapid growth in power demand as well as gas supply shortages have given rise to supply concerns. This makes Investments in energy efficiency critical for Egypt, in order to meet its growing domestic energy demand and to achieve a sustainable balance in the energy sector.

EBRD is actively supporting Egypt’s efforts in diversifying its energy mix, having made a major contribution in renewable energy in Egypt through US$ 500 million framework for renewable energy in 2017.

With its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, launched in 2015, the EBRD is strongly committed to supporting its countries of operations, and Egypt in particular, in adopting an environmentally-friendly model of development. Building on a decade of successful green investments, the Bank seeks to increase the volume of green financing to 40 per cent of its annual business investment by 2020.

The EBRD loan will be extended to the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and its subsidiary Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO) to fund the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies to recover waste heat from gas turbines used to drive gas compressors. The recovered heat will be used to produce additional energy, which will drive new electric compressors and replace fuels on-site. The introduction of new technology will lead to a reduction of over 250,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year.

Eric Rasmussen, EBRD Director for natural Resources, said: “We are very pleased to support Egypt’s strong drive towards a renewal and overhaul of its energy system. The development of the gas infrastructure plays an important role in this effort. The project we are signing today represents a major step forward and it also demonstrates the EBRD’s commitment to support Egypt and the country’s sustainable and successful development”

Tarek El Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said: “The EBRD will also provide technical assistance in addition to the US$200 million loan, which will contribute to the upgrading of gas metering systems throughout the Egyptian gas transmission network, a key step towards an efficient and cost conscious use of energy. Minister El Molla also added: “Technical cooperation support will promote the participation of the private sector in Egypt’s natural gas transmission network, strengthening a market-based and sustainable approach”

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested €3.2 billion in 73 projects in the country. The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services. The Bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 600 small and medium-sized local enterprises.