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"Business as usual approach" is no longer an option to follow

Egypt has developed an Egyptian Competitiveness Strategy. This strategy is important and urgent for at least five reasons. It shows not only how to create more jobs but also better jobs for people. It responds to the popular demands of Egypt’s youth for meaningful participation in economic life. It will enable Egypt to take its rightful place among the leading high-growth emerging economies of the world. It also addresses impending shortages of energy and water, making it a sustainable strategy. And it provides a way for Egypt to grow out of its macroeconomic constraints where its mounting public debt and government deficits would otherwise threaten austerity. Mr. Maysara Fouad points out that the strategy will enable Egypt to regain the regional leadership which Egypt once enjoyed as a hub for skills and talent as well as building the country’s competitive edge internationally and in global markets.

Please describe your organisation 

The Egypt National Cleaner Production Center (ENCPC) was established in 2005 by Ministry of Industry, Trade and SMEs in cooperation with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a service provider for the Egyptian Industry. ENCPC is part of the Ministry's Innovation and Technology Centers and one of 51 centers all over the world participating in the UNIDO-UNEP Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) Global Network. The strategic directions of ENCPC include resource efficiency and cleaner production, energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental sound technology transfer and waste valorisation.

Can you tell us about yourself? 

My name is Maysara Fouad and I am senior cleaner production çrojects engineer and the Head of RECP department at the Egypt National Cleaner Production Center (ENCPC). I have also been appointed as the National Coordinator of MED TEST II. I am a chemical engineering by trained in 2004 and diploma in environmental engineering in 2011. I am currently finalising my Master on optimum environmental solutions for industrial wastewater management in the Egyptian industrial zones.

Could you briefly explain us what is the current situation in Egypt from the perspective of supporting the development of green industry and sustainable production?

In September 2009, the Prime Minister of Egypt commissioned to the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) to develop an Egyptian Competitiveness Strategy. The strategy is shaped with a participatory approach and a comprehensive dialogue with the society including thinkers, opinion leaders and leadership groups, in order to come into consensus around a set of short and long-term priorities. The strategy presented informs debate, encourages dialogue, and presents a new vision for Egypt's future, unshackled from previous constraints An Egyptian Competitiveness Strategy is the key to create more jobs, good jobs, and sustainable jobs for Egyptians. Economic competitiveness will drive Egypt's prosperity in the 21st century and restore Egypt's place in the world. The focus of this strategy is on improving the lives of the people. A more competitive economy will lead to rapid poverty reduction and will enable Egyptian society to provide solutions for those who need it most. Competitiveness is about sustainable increases in productivity that result in improved standards of living felt by the average Egyptian.
The ENCC, in broad consultation with Egyptian stakeholders, will forge consensus regarding key drivers of competitiveness.
Three key overarching areas of focus, or 'thematic areas,' are Investing in People, Green Transformation, and R&D and Innovation.

  • Key Focus Area # 1 (Investing in People): Preparing Egypt's youth, the next generation, to be competitive members of the global economic community will help Egypt make the most of the current demographic transition and changing age structure. Doing this requires an educational system that is responsive to the demands of a rapidly changing economy. It means building a better, more relevant and more equitable education system including improved vocational training.
  • Key Focus Area # 2 (Green Transformation): The green transformation of Egypt's economy involves the transition to 21st Century forms of renewable energy, efficient uses of water and energy, the utilization of "green" aspects in all industries as a competitive advantage, and the improvement of quality of life through the reduction of pollution. Green transformation means sustainable development. Energy and environmental technology can be a source of productivity growth.
  • Key Focus Area #3 (Innovation and R&D): Egypt needs to improve its innovative capacity in order to keep up with rising competition from countries like India, China and the UAE. By investing in innovation, creating a better climate for R&D and supporting new clusters of innovation, Egypt can create a knowledge economy with higher value-added. This in turn will require attracting foreign investment by innovative companies and improved mechanisms that align incentives for commercializing the research of Egypt's universities and research institutes.


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Your organisation targeted 16 industries in Egypt, both SMEs and large industries, across several industrial sectors under the MED TEST I activities. For instance, Extracted Oils and Derivatives was one of these companies that joined the programme. What were the environmental benefits that the company achieved?

  • Activating maintenance programmes for pipes, equipments and compressors, eliminating excessive floor washing and all sources of leakages. These help in decrease the consumption of raw materials and water.
  • Purchasing 4 electric meters to monotor the electrical energy consumption which decrease the CO2 emissions due to the saving.
  • Reducing the wastewater pollution.

Another company that joined MED TEST was NPC, which is a large-size privatized paper enterprise that produces approximately 72,000 tons/year of cardboard, Kraft linear, printing and fluting paper for the local market and for export. What were the saving opportunities for the company?

  • Purchasing 12 water meters and Installation of four meters and this helps in monitor the consumption of water to determine actual water consumption.
  • Installation of empty cement shredder which save in water, chemicals and reduce wastewater pollution.
  • The company got the certification for ISO 14,001.

Can you please tell us two examples in which the implementation of certain measures provided excellent return on investment and an immediate payback period for the company?

1- Starch & Yeast Company:
Starch, Yeast and Detergents is a medium-size food enterprise owned by the Egyptian Holding Company for Food Industries and producing 10,079 tons/year of fresh and dry yeast for the local market. The MED TEST project has identified annual total savings of $US 1,726,986 in water, raw materials, fuel and electricity with an estimated investment of $US 136,474. The simple payback period is less than 2 months. Some of the identified measures were as follow:
  • Optimization of CIP for fermentation tanks with payback of less than one month.
  • Installation of six turbidity transmitters (Product recovery before the beginning of washing tanks) with payback of less than 1.5 months.
  • Installation of 3 mechanical seal pumps in Molasses and yeast plants with payback of less than one month.
2- Crush Company:
Crush, a private Egyptian shareholding company founded in 1990, produces different types of soft drinks for the local market, Hi-Spot lemon, Crush orange and Sport cola, with a total production of 332,470 hl/year.
  • Collection and reuse of daily water discharged from washer I and washer II with payback period of less than 2 months.
  • Installation of transmitters (turbidity or refractive index) with payback period of less than 2 months.
  • Replacement of the incandescent lamps in the PET plant by energy saving lamps with payback period of less than 4 months.

¨ It is important for Egypt to create more jobs, grow more quickly, address the needs of the poor, position itself competitively in the global economy, address its internal deficiencies, take advantage of global market opportunities and ensure that these measures are also sustainable and not at the cost of future generations.¨

"Through MED TEST, we have learned how to reduce production losses, save resources and increase productivity while complying with environmental regulations."
Mr. I. Mahmoud MASSEKH, Chairman