The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group (WBG), announced on Wednesday a joint effort with Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources that aims to support Egypt in becoming a regional energy hub for the eastern Mediterranean region as well as improve its energy infrastructure.
The IFC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with four leading companies within the petroleum sector to help enhance Egypt’s midstream gas infrastructure. The partnership will also assist in energy efficiency and gas flaring reduction initiatives, and support Egypt’s refinery and petrochemical sectors through private sector financing.
The partnership will see the IFC working with four key entities of the energy sector: the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, the Egyptian South Valley Holding Company, and the Egyptian Holding Company for Petrochemicals.
The MoU was announced in the presence of Tarek El-Molla, the minister of petroleum and mineral resources.
El-Molla said that Egypt is undertaking a tremendous amount of positive changes in its energy policy, including, but not limited to, making Egypt a regional energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean region, noting “We therefore see a huge potential for private sector involvement in these investments.”
El-Molla added that the IFC’s partnership is an important step in achieving Egypt’s ambitions and this MoU will strengthen the role of the private sector in the country.
“Egypt has the competitive advantages necessary to become a regional energy hub, and we believe that the private sector can play a critical role in unlocking this potential,” said Walid Labadi, the IFC country manager for Egypt. “The IFC looks forward to working with the ministry to identify private sector investment opportunities to help strengthen vital energy infrastructure, create jobs, and foster economic growth.”
In fiscal year 2018, the IFC committed a record $1.2bn in Egypt to help to create jobs, improve local infrastructure, and boost economic growth. Projects included a landmark investment of $653m in the Benban Solar Park near Aswan, which will be the world’s largest solar array once completed, providing eco-friendly electricity to 350,000 people in Upper Egypt.