Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday inaugurated the Assiut Gasoline Production Complex, the largest petroleum complex in Upper Egypt, and a number of other developmental projects in the area.
Located in Assiut Province, the Assiut Gasoline Production Complex is “one of the state’s strategic projects, and it is within the framework of development plans in Upper Egypt,” said Bassam Rady, spokesperson of the presidency.
“The project aims to secure gasoline supplies for Upper Egypt’s provinces and save the cost of transporting them from the existing refineries in Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez to various regions of Upper Egypt,” he added.
The newly inaugurated benzene production complex seeks to produce 800,000 tons of gasoline annually, according to Egyptian officials.
“The complex aims to reduce dangers and save costs of transporting the petroleum products from the north to the south, and targets maximizing the utilization of Assiut Oil Refining Company’s assets through bumping new investments in Upper Egypt’s provinces,” said Tarek El-Molla, Egypt’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources.
The project will help achieve sustainable development and improve the quality of life for the Upper Egyptian residents, he added.
President Sisi also inaugurated a number of other infrastructure projects in the region via video conference, including two water plants and seven hospitals.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said during the event that Egypt “adopts a comprehensive plan to develop Upper Egypt in order to remedy historical marginalization and poor services.”
“Developing Upper Egypt and improving the life of Egyptians in the southern part of the country is a state priority,” Madbouly added.
The Egyptian government has invested 1.1 trillion Egyptian pounds (70 billion U.S. dollars) in projects including housing, sanitation, water and roads to develop Upper Egypt’s provinces, according to Madbouly.
He also announced the establishment of the world’s largest date farm, which covers an area of about 167 million square meters in Toshka.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Acting Minister of Health Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said a total of 126 billion Egyptian pounds were invested in the health and education sectors in Upper Egypt.
The Egyptian government subsidized six private universities in the Upper Egyptian cities, and health projects in Upper Egypt have benefited 55 million citizens, he added.
There are 154 hospitals in Upper Egypt with 10,259 beds and the government is working to implement the universal health insurance system in the Upper Egyptian provinces, Abdel Ghaffar noted.