Egypt is reducing energy prices for industrial users as part of measures to soften the economic impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The country will lower the price of natural gas for industrial use to $4.50 per one million British thermal units (BTUs), the Egyptian Government said in a statement released on 17 March. It had previously been charging $5.50.

The government will also reduce the price of electricity to heavy industry to EGP0.10 ($0.0064) a kilowatt-hour, down from EGP1.10, and leave electricity prices for other industries stable for three to five years.

Egypt had been raising energy prices annually over the past few years, with the ultimate goal of removing all subsidies.

In July 2019, Egypt introduced a round of fuel subsidy cuts, raising domestic prices by between 16% and 30% to bring them into line with their real cost, as it nears the end of an International Monetary Fund (IMF)-backed economic reform programme.

Impact of Covid-19 on Egypt

The country has had 196 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has announced that airline travel will be banned for two weeks from 19 March.

The economic impact of the virus on Egypt’s economy is expected to be severe and threatens to devastate the country’s tourism industry, which is worth $12.5bn a year.

In an announcement on 17 March, Egypt also announced that it was cutting dividend tax to soften the impact of Covid-19.

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