A high-level ministerial meeting occurred, on Tuesday, to discuss a new waste management system and securing international sources of finance for the waste-to-energy (WTE) technology.
Egypt’s Ministers of Environment Yasmine Fouad, International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, and Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi, took part in the discussions.
During the meeting, Fouad said that WTE technology is one of the mechanisms for waste treatment and recycling that makes up the new waste system. She explained that waste recycling plants convert waste into organic fertiliser and alternative fuel, as well as into energy.
The minister noted that Egypt has experience in establishing and managing recycling factories that produce fertiliser and alternative fuels. She added that her ministry aims to bring in the expertise and technologies needed for WTE plants, in cooperation with development partners to encourage Egyptian companies to work in this field.
The process occurs when waste is burnt in special incinerators, without the need to separate its components before incineration.
This method has several advantages, including the possibility of disposing of a large amount of waste in one go. This is particularly suitable for governorates that do not have a desert hinterland in which sanitary landfills can be allocated, Fouad said.
Fouad said, “The Ministry of Environment has, in coordination with the Ministry of Electricity, presented a study to the cabinet, and announced the WTE tariff in December 2019 at a value of 140 piasters/KW.”
According to Fouad, a committee was formed with representatives from the Ministries of Local Development, Investment, Housing, Electricity and Finance, to set the state’s strategy in this field. In April, the Ministry of Environment published a statement of interest to receive requests from local and international companies to work in this field.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said that the WTE technology “will help sustainably manage Egypt’s solid waste system, provide an alternative clean energy source and boost the economy by providing job opportunities and increasing employment”.
Minister Al-Mashat called for another meeting as part of the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’ multi-stakeholder platform between multilateral and bilateral development partners.
This will include the participation of the Ministries of Environment and Local Development, alongside development partners, to present details of the new waste management system and find the best funding opportunities.
The volume of ongoing agreements with multilateral and bilateral development partners for environmental projects currently stands at about $238.2m, covering four projects. A number of development partners are involved in the projects, most notably Italy, the World Bank, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), Germany and the European Union (EU).
On 24 August, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved a draft law regulating waste management. The law stipulates that producers and companies are to be responsible for handling their waste for recycling.
Egypt is currently considering a law regulating the use of single-use plastic bags, with suggestions put forward for alternatives to single-use bags in accordance with the related regulations. A total of 25% of mortgage tax revenues that are reaped by every governorate shall be allocated for waste management services.