By Nour El-Miligi
The state has been carrying out many initiatives lately, aiming for a greener Egypt. In an attempt to curtail the economical crisis and preserve the country’s resources, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced on Sunday that no licenses will be issued for any vehicles unless they run on natural gas. So for those who already have ordinary cars, what are their destinies, and can they change their vehicles from relying on benzine to natural gas?
The initiative applies to all vehicles, including cars, minibusses, vans, or taxis as reported, targeting vehicles over 20 years old. The President has made his point crystal clear during a speech while inaugurating a housing project in Cairo, explaining that whoever has a 25-year-old car is loaded with a lot of expenses whether when repairing it or when refueling. The state intends to help owners by granting them loans, helping them to buy a car at the lowest possible price, yet the car must be equipped with a bi-fuel system. The move can save fuel costs by up to 50%, reducing middle-class family bills in half.
A reduced price isn’t the only reason behind the initiative, but also to use the country’s rich supply of natural gas, which has many benefits that we as citizens are privy to. One of the most prominent benefits of utilizing natural gas is that it’s a clean source. Switching to the use of natural gas contributes to a significant reduction in air pollutant emissions. Its gaseous texture prevents leakage, which limits the harmful effects on soil and underground water, making natural gas not only a cleaner source than benzine but also a safer one.
The state has adopted a plan to expand the use of natural gas as well as pushing vehicle owners into converting their cars to a bi-fuel system, making everyone capable of keeping up with the green movement. An official source at The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources stated that Egypt has been converting around 118,000 cars to run on natural gas for the past 6 years, aiming to convert thousands of vehicles to gas-powered models during this upcoming period. Converting one million vehicles to operate on gas is estimated to cost 8 billion pounds, according to President El Sisi.
The country’s plan aims at reducing fuel consumption and imports, reducing harmful emissions that have been increasing toxins and air pollution throughout the years. The initiative will feature a total of 366 new natural gas fueling stations to keep up with the increasing number of vehicles that will operate on gas. In addition, ordinary cars can easily convert to the bi-fuel system as well, without little change to its original makeup or potential risks to the car.