Egypt: Coal imports can only take place after approval from the ministry of environment, the minister said on Tuesday as he announced new rules Egypt adopted on coal use.
The approval will set the type of coal and the way it is shipped, transported and stored, Minister Khaled Fahmy told state news agency MENA.
Companies wishing to use coal will present the government with environmental assessment studies and approvals will be subject to renewal every two years.
The new rules are an amendment to a law on environmental affairs and allow the use of coal for cement, iron and steel, coke and aluminum production, and in power plants.
Egypt’s cabinet approved, in April 2014, the use of coal to generate energy, a move that was seen as supportive to the cement production industry which alone consumes 10 percent of all energy used in industry in Egypt.
Despite the energy crisis Egypt has been facing for years, the cabinet’s approval caused wide controversy both from within and outside the government.
Ever since the decision, however, cement companies have geared up to use coal.
In the upcoming period, Egypt is also expected to expand the building of power plants fueled by coal, after borrowing from financial institutions.