Kahled Fahmy, Egypt’s newly-appointed environment minister, has said that the country has no choice but to use coal in energy-intensive industries, given Egypt’s current economic woes.
Speaking at a press conference, Fahmy said that coal will only be used in the manufacturing of cement, where it is burned at 1300oC. At this temperature, Fahmy also said that harmful emissions would be reduced.
Fahmy added that there is no existing legislation in Egyptian law banning coal imports, but that importers will be required to meet certain conditions as stipulated by the last cabinet before they will be issued a mandatory permit.
The minister said Egypt's current economic situation should be considered, especially since the international price of coal is US$ 4/t, while the price of gas is US$ 14/m2.
The ministry of environment's stance on the use of coal has shifted drastically with the appointment of Fahmy last week. The previous environment minister, Laila Iskandar, was a strong opponent of its use.
Iskandar is now the urban development minister.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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