Egypt's Sisi inaugurates hydrocracking complex in Qalioubiya governorate
- 28 September 2020 / News / 117 / Khaled Zaki
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi attended on Sunday the opening of a hydrocracking complex project in Qalioubiya, to the north of Cairo, which is part of the country's strategy to develop the refining industry, fill the local market's needs, and lessen the import of petroleum products.
The refinery project was established in cooperation between the state and the private sector, with investments worth $3.4 billion, and can produce 4.7 million tons of various high-value petroleum products annually.
El-Sisi said the complex's inauguration was delayed after the state of instability that followed the 2011 uprising.
"The project stopped for around 10 years because of the state of instability, and the country was deprived of economic gains," he stressed during the event.
"Lots of ventures collapsed or [endured] loses because of this," he noted, adding that "we are currently trying to get this problem sorted out."
El-Sisi stressed that stability and security are essential for attracting investments, whether in Egypt or throughout the world.
The inauguration was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, a number of ministers, and parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, as well as other officials.
The project is based on cracking low-value Mazut into high-value petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel, Ahmed Heikal, the head of the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), said during the event.
Around $600 million to $1 billion is expected to be saved annually as a result of the anticipated production of the newly-opened complex, he added.
Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said the country has a strategy for upgrading its petroleum-related infrastructure by launching several projects to bridge the gap between production and consumption in order to attain self-sufficiency by the end of 2023.
The minister said the country will pursue establishing projects to increase petroleum production.
Between 2013 and 2014, the capacity of Egyptian refining plants was 13.5 million tons yearly, while the consumption was 21 million tons, he said.
In 2016, Egypt imported 10 million tons of oil at a total cost of $4.5 billion, which dropped to only 3.5 million tons by the end of 2020.
He asserted that the decline was due to upgrade projects that were set up by the state, the economic reform program, and the decrease in consumption that was brought about by upgrading the country’s road network, which helped reduce the distance of trips.
On the sidelines of the event, El-Sisi inaugurated El-Tagned-Shubra Banha axis project via video conference. The project is part of the country's plan to upgrade the road network of East Cairo district to put an end to the traffic jams that are common in the area.
The new axes will link the Mostorod district, where the hydrocracking complex is located, to major roads in the eastern and western parts of the country.
At a total cost of EGP 22 million, up to 50 roads in east Cairo, expanding over 200 kilometres, have been upgraded, and 40 bridges have been built, Ehab El-Far, the head of the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces (EAAF), said during the conference.
Sisi warns of ‘destruction attempts’
President El-Sisi stressed during the inauguration that the owners of expropriated properties are being provided with alternatives in decent areas.
"I know there are people whose entire goal is to intimidate you and to [sow] doubt [in the state's efforts]... they are fishing in troubled waters," he said, adding that the expropriations are not being implemented at the expense of citizens.
The president also said that the East Cairo revamping project does not only benefit the residents of Nasr City and Heliopolis, but is meant to serve all citizens.
He added that between 2 to 3 million vehicles operate on a daily basis on the roads of East Cairo, and that the project aims to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce fuel consumption and save time.
He also warned of those who "claim they want change, but their [true intention is to] destroy people and states with false claims."
"I will keep talking about this matter as long as I hold my post," El-Sisi stressed, adding that these forces aim to destroy states and turn their citizens into refugees.
He also called on the media and the educational institutions to contribute to raising public awareness about the matter.
More financial aid for irregular workers
On the coronavirus pandemic, the president assured that the state is dealing with the problem in a transparent way, and urged all citizens to adhere to preventative measures to avoid a potential second wave of the disease.
He instructed the prime minister to disburse the monthly allowance awarded to irregular workers affected by the pandemic until the end of the year.
Earlier, the Egyptian government allocated a three-month financial package for irregular workers in a bid to alleviate the consequences of the outbreak.
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