Ahmed Heikal, Chairperson and Founder of Qalaa Holdings, said that the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), started as a piece of land covered by garages and warehouses in 2008, “ now it is the largest project in the history of Africa, with $4.4bn of investment.”
Heikal statements came on the sidelines of “Egypt Can by Investment and Development” conference, where he explained that the saves around $1bn of hard currency for the state annually, pointing out that the current state of social development and economic reform programme led the company to study the expansion of ERC to increase productivity by 30%.
He noted that Qalaa Holdings is the only Egyptian company working in the project Benban solar park in Aswan, which is the largest solar energy project in the world.
Heikal said that the took a loan in 2009 from the Japanese and Korean governments, to establish ERC.
During another session on Wednesday, Qalaa’s Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer Ghada Hammouda emphasized the importance of the role of the private sector in creating environmentally and economically responsible job opportunities and giving back to society, especially in light of the lack of state resources.
Hammouda called for the Egyptian women abroad and global labour markets, and the successful leaders and companies to devote part of their time and efforts to provide added value in the country, stressing the role of the private sector in sustainable development and environmentally responsible investment.
She stressed the importance of private sector in the preparation of girls and women to join the labour market, through education, volunteering in villages to raise awareness of women’s capacity and potential, networking with young Egyptian women, opening channels of communication between businesswomen associations, and launching specialised media outlets that cares about the image of women.