Ambassador Christian Berger’s speech – Egyptian Petroleum Energy Efficiency Conference
Egyptian Petroleum Sector Energy Efficiency Conference and Exhibition (EPEEC) 2022
Cairo, 17 May 2022
Ambassador of the European Union
Dear Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources,
Dear Participants in this EU-supported Energy Efficiency Capacity Building programme which we hold in close co-operation with the Ministry of Petroleum.
It is a great pleasure and honour to address this important conference about Energy Efficiency, which cannot be more topical especially ahead of COP 27, which Egypt is currently preparing.
Energy efficiency is a key concept in the fight against climate change. Being more efficient will immediately cut our emissions, ease the pressure on the environment and reduce the need for energy and other resources. Isolating our houses in Europe, reducing the average temperature by 1º and using more public transport will get us a long way. While energy efficiency is improving, there is a very high correlation, almost a near perfect one, between GDP growth, and energy usage.
With the Ministry we have enjoyed a long-lasting and fruitful cooperation between the EU and Egypt. This close cooperation is the fruit of the strong vision by the Ministry of Petroleum to modernise the oil and gas sector, thus paving the way for Egypt to become a main regional player in energy, and also to ensure the sustainability of the sector at national level.
The EU is cooperating with Egypt in the oil and gas sector through capacity building programmes and offering EU grants together with loans provided by European Financial Institutions to fund infrastructure projects.
Let me mention the Households Natural Gas Connection Project that aims at connecting up to 2.3 million households to the national gas grid. It also includes an important social component offering payment of the connection fees in line with the Presidential strategy to extend the national gas grid throughout the country and also in line with the Presidential Hayah Karima Initiative.
Another example is the Energy Efficiency Programme at the Suez Oil Refinery Programme, the oldest in the country currently employing 6000 employees.
The technical assistance programme the EU is providing is yet another example of our close cooperation in the gas sector. Its objective is the strengthening and capacity building of the Energy Efficiency and Climate Department as the focal point for energy efficiency within the Ministry of Petroleum.
In the future and guided by our Green Deal approach the EU is keen on partnering with Egypt to support increased sustainability and efforts leading to the de-carbonisation of the gas sector.
The European Green Deal is one of the top priorities of the European Union. It strives to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050. Co-operation with our partners in areas where Egypt is already advancing like on the use of hydrogen is high on the agenda. Hydrogen will form an integral part of the EU Energy System and we can share thoughts and experience in this field especially that we are preparing to sign the Mediterranean Hydrogen Partnership.
In the framework of our multi annual cooperation we will certainly consider the green economy and sustainable energy as a key socio-economic factor supporting Egypt’s prosperity.
The current EU support to update the Egyptian Sustainable Energy Strategy is yet an ambitious and important undertaking.
I participated yesterday in the East Med Gas Forum which is a very successful field of regional cooperation supported by the EU. The EU is looking forward to a closer cooperation with Egypt to enhance LNG exports from the region to Europe.
As you can see the energy sector plays an ever increasing role in the partnership and cooperation between the EU and Egypt. This is well reflected in the new Partnership Priorities covering the period up to 2027 and will be adopted jointly in the coming weeks.
Thank you very much.