Our West Nile Delta project is expected to increase Egypt’s current gas production by 30% when it comes onstream in 2017
To bring lasting benefits to the communities where the gas will come ashore, our social investment programme contains a commitment to employ people from the surrounding communities and use local suppliers where appropriate. We also invest in programmes aimed at improving local economic development and important community services, such as health and education.
For example, we support healthcare in the communities that are closest to the project’s onshore gas processing facilities. The two public local hospitals - in Idku and nearby Rashid - received approximately $1 million for emergency response equipment in 2016. Idku hospital serves a population of around 150,000, and the donation has helped fund ventilators, defibrillators, cardiac monitors and medication pumps.
We have also set up a micro-finance initiative, administered by non-governmental organizations, that provides small interest-free loans to help establish new local businesses. The initiative approved more than 900 loans, of up to $1,100 each, in its first seven months of operation. This money helped a range of small enterprises, such as taxi services, mechanical workshops and weaving businesses. One third of these initial loans went to women setting up their own businesses.
Our plan is to deliver a tailored programme that truly reflects our values, showing respect for local needs and local culture. The real measure of success of our social investment programme will be when the community takes pride in the presence of our West Nile Delta project.Moataz Atef, in-country project general manager, West Nile Delta, BP Egypt