The Ministry of Petroleum has connected houses in six different areas to the national gas grid since the beginning of July 2018, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The recently-connected houses are located in the Dakahlia, Kafr El Sheikh, and Sharqia governorates. Around 11,000 households contracted with gas companies to install natural gas connections in these areas.

Natural gas will also be connected to towns in the Giza governorate for the first time, the ministry added.

These developments are part of the oil ministry’s and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding’s (EGAS) plan to link 684,000 households across 18 governorates to the national gas grid.

The 684,000 clients will pay for the connection in instalments which will be added to their monthly gas bills over the next six years, Egypt Oil & Gas previously reported.

Oil minister Tarek El Molla urged gas companies to speed up the operations and contact more citizens directly in order to start natural gas installations in more households. The ministry also stated that the rate of connecting household to the national gas grid will be sped up.

The natural gas grid will replace butane usage for residential properties. Egypt has to import large quantities of butane to meet nationa demand, while natural gas will cover domestic demand by the end of 2018, according to El Molla’s statements.

The updates were released during a meeting between El Molla and EGAS officials.