World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt's ministers of electricity and industry announced Sunday that Egypt has plans to depend on coal to generate electricity and power cement factories.
Minister of Electricity Ahmed Imam said the Cabinet's Higher Committee for Energy had asked the Environment Ministry to consider the environmental effects of using coal to generate electricity and operate cement factories.
He said the state-run Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, the main government agency responsible for the generation of electricity, had approved three potential locations for the construction of Egypt's first coal-powered electricity station.
He added that the three locations included Oyoun Moussa, northeast of Egypt, West of Damietta, in the north of the country, and Safaga, in the east.
"All these locations are suitable for this type of projects, which need major space for the storage of coal and the establishment of ports for coal imports," the minister told the Anadolu Agency via phone.
He said to be cost-effective, coal-powered electricity stations have to have a generation capacity of between 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade and Industry Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour said on Sunday that his ministry is taking measures to use coal in fuelling several factories, including cement plants.
"There is coordination with the Environment Ministry on the environmental specifications for the use of coal in powering factories," Abdel-Nour said.
He added that the use of coal in these factories would save around 450 million cubic meters of natural gas that can be used in powering new industrial ventures.
The Egyptian stock index was down 5.8 percent in early afternoon.
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