Egypt, grappling with an energy crunch, will enforce a ban on the production and import of air conditioners that can be set lower than 20 degrees Celsius, aiming to reassure citizens and industry hit with power cuts and fuel shortages.

The failure of successive governments in Cairo to develop sound energy policies has discouraged foreign companies from tapping gas reserves needed to meet increasing consumption in the most populous Arab country.



Power generation in Egypt is largely dependent on natural gas, now in short supply. The government predicts production will fail to meet surging domestic demand in the next fiscal year, starting in July.



Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour cast the restrictions on air conditioners as a part of the government plan to cut energy use in order to ease the worsening crisis in the sector.



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