The market for water, wastewater and environmental goods and services in Egypt is promising.
The Environment and Water sector in Egypt
The market for water, wastewater and environmental goods and services in Egypt is promising.
Analysts expect it to increase by 40% in parallel with the improvement of the economy.
There is real scope for introducing new technology and solutions in the water and environment
sectors. There are various projects down the pipeline and the government is seeking private
sector participation. Egyptian authorities are looking for the latest foreign technology but are
unsighted on the latest UK developments
The Egyptian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs has been implementing serious
reforms with successful steps for abating all types of pollution, but these are still considered in
its embryonic stage. Hence, opportunities are numerous.
The Egyptian government is determined to tackle environmental issues such as water scarcity,
declining water quality, land degradation, increasing air pollution, untreated urban and hazardous
waste disposal, poorly protected cultural and natural heritage (by reinforcing legal and
institutional framework) and increasing its budget expenditure on environmental projects.
Most of the government expenditure goes towards funding of environmental equipment, various
environment programmes, capacity building and technical assistance to polluting industries.
Funding also comes from international donors such as the World Bank, United Nations
Development Programme, USA, EU, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, and several other
Egyptian regulations increasingly put pressure on businesses to comply with environmental laws.
Businesses exporting to the EU, North America, and other developed regions, where compliance
with environmental standards can constitute an explicit non-tariff barrier; is also urged to prove
their compliance with international environmental standards.
Water & Wastewater Sector:
The water and wastewater sector is very large and growing rapidly. The Egyptian government
has allocated funding to upgrade/build modern irrigation systems and improve the infrastructure
in order to enhance water and sanitation coverage throughout the country.
The current economic and social development five-year plan focuses on infrastructure projects,
including water and sanitation projects. The total number of projects in the 5-year plan (2007-
2012) is 31 water and 40 wastewater projects.
Daily production of potable water in Egypt is now 21 million cubic meters with daily losses due
to leakage from the network or to unauthorised access ranging 30%-40%. An increase of 40% in
the amount of clean water produced daily is essential.
The government's target is to achieve 100% water coverage by the year 2017 and 100%
wastewater coverage by 2022.
Egypt needs to invest LE 80 billion over the next 10 years to complete its sanitary drainage
sector. Chairman of the Holding Co. for Potable Water & Sanitary Drainage, announced that the
service currently covers only 55% of the governorates requirements.
The key issue for the authorities is the selection of technologies, which saves on land & energy
and maximises local manufacture component.
Another issue is the future operation and maintenance of such facilities upon completion. Recent
developments in Egypt are also concerned with private participation processes. Egypt is engaged
in several mega projects like Toshka, North Sinai and South Valley.
Recently, Egypt launched its first public-private partnership (PPP) project in the New Cairo
Wastewater Treatment Project.
Egyptian authorities will announce various projects shortly are now looking for foreign
companies to introduce new technology in this sector. International firms are monitoring these
developments, so as not to miss out on what appears to be a highly promising avenue for
There are opportunities for UK companies in the Egyptian environment, water and wastewater
Main equipment and services needed in the environmental sector:
ξ Design and construction of sanitary landfills
ξ Solid waste management, equipment and operation
ξ Composting programs for agricultural waste
ξ Recycling plants, equipment & relevant training
ξ Hazardous waste treatment technologies and incinerators
ξ New and renewable energy technology and equipment especially solar energy and wind
ξ Industrial Filters and air pollution equipment
ξ Environment consultancy
ξ Emission measuring instruments especially for vehicle exhaust.
ξ Recycling technology for industrial waste
ξ Kits for converting motor vehicles to use natural gas
ξ Equipment and filters to reduce pollution from power plants and particle emissions from
cement factory smokestacks
ξ Industrial wastewater treatment plants and equipment.
ξ Marine pollution removal equipment and consultancy
ξ Education and training in new agriculture technologies to address the use of fertilisers and
ξ Coastal protection equip, consultancies to prevent shoreline erosion
ξ Education and training in protecting water rivers, canals, coasts and preventing shoreline
ξ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under the Kyoto agreement
Water and Wastewater opportunities:
Opportunities for UK companies in the water and wastewater sector in Egypt are broad, covering
every area of expertise from technology and equipment supply to consulting and project
ξ Potential areas include:
ξ Water and wastewater treatment plants
ξ Equipment for filtration and purification
ξ Equipment for leak detection
ξ Coastal protection equipment
ξ Chemicals and sludge treatment
ξ Desalination and irrigation systems
ξ Consultancy services
ξ Irrigation systems and infrastructure
ξ Know-how to produce electromechanical parts
ξ Pumps and valves
ξ Education and vocational training in operation, maintenance and water resource
ξ Cooling towers for water
ξ Education and training in protecting water rivers, canals
Renewable Energy (RE)
Egypt is increasingly putting this sector higher on its agenda. In the past all investment in
renewable energy generation used to be through international donors (Aid from Denmark,
Germany, Japan, etc), but currently, a strategy is being put in place to encourage private sector
contribution to satisfy the targeted 20% generation of energy through RE by 2020.
Egypt has very good potential for RE generation; Sunshine duration is 9-11hrs/day with very few
cloudy days, wind speed reaches 10.8m/sec., Biomass amount is in the order of 60 million
ton/year. Studies assure that, if utilised efficiently, RE can cover all Egypt's needs of energy and
also be exported.
The Egyptian government is studying a Feed-In Law and Feed-In Tariff to prepare for private
investment for the first time in this sector. These regulations will shortly be raised with
legislative authorities. Some specialists expect the law to be issued in one year's time.
Latest export opportunities in the Environment and Water sector
Latest export opportunities in Egypt
Getting into the market
Egypt is an attractive market that can offer major business opportunities to informed traders and
investors. Trade and investment between the UK and Egypt is promising. However it is not
always an easy market. A successful entry into Egypt will be determined by the quality of the
information and advice upon which the decision to enter is based. Continued success is also
dependent upon the ability to navigate the laws and practices of Egypt.
The Egyptian market requires careful study and a sustained sales effort. There is strong
competition from other exporting countries. Price and credit terms are a deciding factor when
obtaining contracts, though quality is increasingly important. Back-up servicing facilities and the
supply of spare parts is also important.
Having a local partner can be vital to successful penetration of this market. There are several
reasons for this. Firstly, given the continuing bureaucracy, a local partner can shepherd the
foreign business through the delays and obstacles. Secondly, foreign companies require a local
agent to bid for government tenders. Thirdly, as the Egyptian market becomes more
sophisticated there is a growing demand for after sales service, which a local agent can
British companies wishing to develop their business in the Egyptian market are advised to
undertake as much market research and planning as possible in the UK.
More about doing business in Egypt
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits through our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Wafaa Saad, British Embassy Cairo. Tel: (00202) 2791 6000 or email:
Yasmin Montasser, British Embassy Cairo. Tel: (00202) 2791 6000 or email:
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events in the Environment and Water sector
Sustainability Live 2013
Date: 16-18 April 2013
Venue: NEC Birmingham, UK
Sustainability through Resource Conservation & Recycling (SRCR) 2013
Date: 6-8 May 2013
Venue: Falmouth Beach Resort Hotel, Falmouth, United Kingdom
AQUATHERM 2013 (Dates TBC)
The BIG Four 2013 (Dates TBC)
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters