The Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) is seeking to utilise rice straw in producing 50,000 tonnes of ethanol in 1.5 years, company head Tarek Galal told Daily News Egypt on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Energy and Future of Investment in Egypt Conference, Galal said the period of implementation depends on the prices of rice obtained from farmers and the speed of concluding feasibility studies.

“Another challenge facing the implementation of the project is the availability of rice straw,” Galal stressed.

Rice straw will be used to produce ethanol, which will be used to produce electricity, he said. Galal, however, did not specify the percentage of traditional energy that will be replaced by using rice straw in ethanol production.

Galal said ECHEM is currently negotiating with the Ministry of Agriculture to coordinate with farmers to supply the rice, noting that they are coordinating with the Ministry of Petroleum.

The Ministry of Environment is also involved in the negotiations, “as it is an environmental project”, Galal said.

The project will help the government in achieving its goal to produce 20% of energy through new and renewable energy by 2020, Galal pointed out.

Source: Daily News Egypt