The Ministerial Economic Committee has agreed to broaden the use of coal as an alternative fuel for natural gas in all fertilizer and cement factories. The decision is expected to be gradually applied, as appropriate storage to accommodate the needed amount of coal venues have not been set, a source at the ministry of petroleum told Egypt Oil & Gas.

The government is keen on expanding the use of coal as an energy source in the manufacturing and consumption sectors that use natural gas. This is due to its expected contribution to the resolution of 40% of the energy crises in Egypt, the official added, and the provision of gas to power plants in order to avoid frequent power outages in the summer.

In May of 2015, it was reported by Daily News Egypt that 90% of cement factories in Egypt have agreed to shift to coal as their main source of energy, the Head of the Industrial Development Authority, Ismail Gaber, announced at Egypt’s first coal conference.

Over the past year factories and the Egyptian government struggled alike with fluctuations in the availability of natural gas for the manufacturing sector.