The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and board directors of three major companies have signed three agreements, worth 25 million euros, to finance the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Program (EPAP) - Phase III.
The three companies are El-Nasr Co. for Fertilizer and Chemical Industries (SEMADCO), the Egyptian Company for Salts and Minerals (AMISAL) and Alexandria Mineral Oils Co. (AMOC).
In a statement, Petroleum Minister Tareq el Molla said the petroleum sector is coordinating with the Environment Ministry in applying global environmental compliance standards with a view to achieving sustainable development goals in all industrial projects, especially in the petroleum industry domain.
He added the project aims at treating highly polluted industrial wastewater that includes hazardous materials like phenol. Phenol exposure is one of the hazards in the industrial wastewater treatment basin of any refinery. It additively interacts with hydrogen sulfide emitted from the wastewater basin. Consequently, its concentration should be greatly lower than its threshold limit value.
For her part, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said that her ministry has an ambitious plan to help industrial facilities to get rid of industrial waste.
NBE Chairman Hisham Okasha said that his bank's strategy focuses on playing more active role in achieving "Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030".
The main objective of EPAP III is to set a framework for encouraging cleaner production uptake in Egypt by promoting technologies achieving significant pollution abatement in the industry, i.e. control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions, including the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
According to the European Union External Action website, it will also improve the living and workplace conditions. The project will also strengthen the enforcement capacity of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency making it more efficient and help the banks to become more pro-active in the financing of environmental projects thanks to capacity building in order to insure the sustainability of the project.
The benefits are that the program will reduce pollution levels in Egypt. This will improve the environmental conditions in the country, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve living and workplace conditions for Egyptians.
By focusing on SMEs the project will also support job creation. Finally, the project will enable the bank industry to diversify its activities and offer a new type of service that is related to the environment.