Egypt’s Sisi approves $500 mn World Bank loan to expand natural gas grid

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified on Thursday a $500 million loan agreement with the World Bank to fund the national natural gas project in order to benefit 1.5 million households who currently rely on older means of gas consumption.

The initial agreement between Cairo and the WB was signed in Signed  in September of 2014.

By connecting new households to the country's natural gas grid system, Egypt aims to save $301.5 million annually in fuel subsidies.

Some 75 percent of Egyptian households rely on subsidised, traditional gas cylinders which officially cost LE8, according to the World Bank.

In July of last year, El-Sisi began a politically sensitive economic reform plan by cutting fuel subsidies, raising prices at the pump by up to 78 percent. 

Earlier this month, the government also signed a $400 million loan with the Bank to bolster a pension welfare project which currently benefits 1.5 million poor Egyptian families.

In addition, Egypt is expected to receive a World Bank loan worth $1.5 billion laccording to an agreement, which was also signed in September of last year, to fund the construction of new affordable housing and development of sanitation services for 760 poor villages.

The World Bank currently runs 26 projects in Egypt at a value of $5.4 billion.


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