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Focus on Egypt – Agreement with Masdar of the United Arab Emirates to produce green hydrogen; The draft budget unveiled

RIYADH: Egypt has signed agreements with Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company of the United Arab Emirates, also known as Masdar, to assemble hydrogen plants in the Suez and Mediterranean regions with the aim of producing 480 000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030.

The country’s draft budget that was sent to the Financial Affairs Committee showed an increase in the grants, grants and social programs fund of 13.6% from 2021/22 to 2022/23, which was largely attributed to the war in the Eastern region, as stated in a report by the Ministry of Finance.

Green energy development

Egypt has bolstered its recent green vision by signing two memorandums of understanding to assemble hydrogen plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and on its Mediterranean coast, according to a cabinet statement.

These were signed with Masdar and the company Hassan Allam Properties at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and other government officials.

The two companies are said to have formed a consortium aiming to develop 480,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030.

Egypt’s membership is part of the country’s efforts to cultivate its green energy investment market, promoting internal and external engagement, the statement added.

In an effort to produce clean-burning fuel locally, the country has considered several offers from abroad for green hydrogen production in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Egypt is also in the process of transforming its Suez Canal into a “green route” ahead of hosting the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in November.

Finance

Egypt’s 2022/23 Social Grants, Grants and Programs Fund increased by 13.6% from the previous year, largely in an effort to mitigate the repercussions caused by the war in Ukraine.

The draft was sent to the Financial Affairs Committee, after being voted on by the Egyptian House of Representatives on April 17 to be discussed in hearings.

Figures from the first round show that 2022/23 budget allocations to grants, subsidies and social protection programs amounted to 356 billion Egyptian pounds ($19.17 billion) compared to 321.3 billion Egyptian pounds, as the shows a report from the Department of Finance.

“This increase is intended to protect the poor and low-income classes from the negative economic impact of the war in Ukraine,” the report said.

With the world’s largest wheat importer dependent on half of its imports from Ukraine and Russia, rising global wheat and oil costs are adding financial strain to Egypt’s new budget.

“The significant increase in fuel and basic necessities subsidies [is attributed to] to the need to cover any expected rise in world wheat and oil prices. Yasser Omar, deputy chairman of the House Budget Committee, told reporters.

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