By : Ahmed Helmy
Narrative Summit launched a special episode on building modern Egypt and the achievements of the Egyptian state, which materialized through many infrastructure megaprojects with reliance on digital transformation. The new episode, coinciding with the Prime Minister’s visit to Schneider Electric’s factory in Badr City and his meeting with a Metito Water Solutions delegation, is the latest in the Narrative Summit - Reshaping Norms 2021 series, broadcasted by Narrative Summit on digital media. The episode features key infrastructure figures, namely Eng. Walid Sheta, Schneider Electric Cluster President for North-east Africa and Levant and Eng. Karim Madwar, Managing Director of Metito Africa for Water Treatment.
Eng. Walid Sheta, Schneider Electric Cluster President for North-east Africa and the Levant, said: "Feeding industries are of great importance to raising the proportion of local product and reducing the country's import bill. They also provide thousands of job opportunities for Egyptian engineers, who have a track record of competence across Africa. This is why all electricity industry factories in Egypt are exporting in varying proportions to many African and Arab countries. We, at Schneider Electric, tap the potential of Egyptians in our factory in Badr City, which was recently visited by Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly.
During the visit, Dr. Madbouly witnessed, first-hand, the company's investments in building two new production lines to manufacture medium voltage products up to 24 kV. The factory is currently exporting to at least 13 African countries. And the products source 60% of input from the local market – a proportion that we are proud of but still seek to increase soon."
Sheta added: "Digital technology has greatly contributed to the development of infrastructure, eliminating human errors, and increasing energy efficiency. Rationalizing energy is seen as the biggest challenge in the coming period. But we are addressing this by digitizing infrastructure, water desalination, electricity consumption, and smart grids. At Schneider Electric, we rely on EcoStruxure technology, which combines control with information analysis. It employs the internet of things to serve as a platform for digital operation and link different business solutions to deliver results and efficiency at the same time."
For his part, Eng. Karim Madwar, Managing Director of Metito Africa for Water Treatment, said: "The water infrastructure in Egypt consists of about 200 km of water and sewage networks and 500 treatment plants. As the state continues building new urban communities, it was necessary to prepare the infrastructure for that to reduce pressure on the main source of water, the Nile River, and to think about diversifying water sources.
Many huge desalination plants were built in all coastal cities from Marsa Matrouh, Al Alamein, Al-Hammam, and West Alexandria, to Port Said, Hurghada, Tur, Safaga, and Al-Arish, amongst others. The state also took a strong approach towards tapping agricultural drainage wastewater by treating it to be reused again in agriculture. One of the largest infrastructure projects in water treatment was the Mahsama plant in Ismailia, which treats and reuses 1 mn cubic meters of agricultural drainage water to meet the irrigation needs of about 70,000 feddans in Sinai. It also preserves the environment and fish production in Lake Timsah, west of the Suez Canal.
The treatment plants cover approximately 65% of the actual need in the Egyptian countryside. But there is still a need for these plants in about 35% of the villages and countryside of Egypt – a gap which the state is bridging under the umbrella of the Hayah Karima Initiative."
Madwar added: "Now, there are huge desalination plants in all coastal cities, including the Galala plant in Ain Sukhna, which is the largest in Egypt with an output of 150,000 cubic meters/day. The plant was built in 18 months and was opened two years ago to meet the potable water needs of about 700,000 - 1 mn citizens.
The plant was established following the latest international technologies to rationalize electricity and cut its power bill from 11 kilowatt-hours/cubic meter of water down to 3.5 kilowatt-hours."
Medawar highlighted two challenges facing desalination and water treatment plants in Egypt. Desalination and water treatment remain expensive, but the state has addressed this by turning to the private sector for finance. The second problem is the cultural heritage of disregarding the importance of water and the lack of real awareness that water is very expensive.
"The year 2030 will witness a great development. It is expected that the inhabited area will reach 25% of the area of Egypt with the establishment of new communities. But with the creation of many job opportunities, the future of Egypt is for the better," he concluded.