National Bank of Egypt, EIB ink €70mn Third Pollution Abatement Project

The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed today a €70 million new loan agreement to support the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Programme (EPAP III).

The signing ceremony took place in the headquarters of the Egyptian cabinet attended by the Egyptian Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy, a number of officials in the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and Philippe de Fontaine – Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

The EIB is the lead financing institution notably in terms of volume among the core European development partners supporting this national programme.

The project will finance public and private industrial companies that will invest in pollution abatement technologies while assisting the industry in complying with environmental regulations. It aims to alleviate the environmental consequences of the rapid population growth, ambitious development and industrialization policies experienced by Egypt.

EPAP III will establish sustainable mechanisms for environmental improvement of private and public industries and at enhancing technical capability of all relevant authorities and banks to handle industrial pollution providing preferential treatment to small and medium-size industrial enterprises. The programme should significantly improve the reduction of pollution. Under the previous programme (EPAP II), 38 projects from 28 companies have been enabled.

At the signing ceremony the EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive said: “The reduction of pollution is crucial for Egypt. This is why we have decided to support public and private industries involved in a very positive environmental approach and procedures.”

“Through this financing, we aim to promote the productivity and competitiveness of the Egyptian economy and to create jobs. We aim to contribute to the improvement of the daily life of the Egyptian people and to the building of a future for the younger generation.”

The project preparation has been undertaken jointly with EIB as the lead financing institution and includes support from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility, in the form of €6 million for technical assistance (TA) and €4 million direct investment grant (DIG). The programme is jointly financed by AFD, the German Development Cooperation through KfW, and the above mentioned European Union grants (€10 million). The Government of Egypt will further contribute to the project.

The Egyptian Pollution Abatement Project, initiated in 1997, is the largest industrial pollution abatement in Middle East and Africa, and the third phase project, effective as of January 2015, builds upon the successful collaboration developed during Phase I and Phase II.

Earlier this month, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa Al-Ahwany signed an umbrella agreement at total value of around €150 million in favour of the Egyptian Pollution Abatement Project.

The umbrella agreement encompasses a €70 million contribution by the European Investment Bank, €50 million from the French Development Agency (AFD), €15.5 million from Germany’s reconstruction bank (KfW), €10 million from the European Union and €4.4 million from the Egyptian government.