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Wednesday, 22 February 2023

More natgas filling stations + Cartona eyes KSA debut


More natgas filling stations: The number of natural gas filling stations has risen more than fourfold since 2020 to more than 900, as part of the state’s push towards converting traditional vehicles to run on natgas, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in a statement yesterday. The state is working to build as many as 120 stations this year, he added.


Cartona eyes Saudi debut: Egyptian B2B e-commerce platform Cartona plans to expand to Saudi Arabia in early 2024, CEO and co-founder Mahmoud Talaat told Asharq Business in an interview. His statements come nearly a year after Cartona raised USD 12 mn in a series A round led by VC firm Silicon Badia.

ICYMI- We sat down with Talaat for an interview last year when he was featured as our Founder of the Week in EnterprisePM.

AND- inDrive raises USD 150 mn: Global ride-hailing app inDrive — FKA inDriver — has raised some USD 150 mn from existing investor General Catalyst to support the company’s growth plans, it said in a press release (pdf). This marks the company’s first round of funding since it rebranded to inDrive back in October to reflect the company’s growth into verticals beyond ride-hailing, including helping users “look for jobs, request household services, and book long-distance trips and deliveries.”

REMEMBER- The company has been operating in Egypt since September 2020, offering its services in Suez before expanding to Cairo.

Speaking of ride-hailing services: DiDi Egypt has expanded its motorcycle ride-hailing service — dubbed DiDi Tayaran —- to Alexandria, it said in a statement (pdf) yesterday. The Chinese firm landed in Egypt last year and launched a scooter service in November.


We just bought rice from abroad: State grains buyer GASC has bought 50k tons of imported rice, the Supply Ministry said. The purchase comes a few days after the government prematurely lifted a cap on local rice prices, with officials saying that the state could look to increase rice imports in a bid to control soaring prices.


Cannon Artes lands contract for Suez water treatment plant: Italy-based water engineering company Cannon Artes has secured a USD 31 mn contract to build a desalination and demineralization plant for the state-owned Suez Oil Processing Company’s (SOPC) oil refinery, it said in a statement. Under the contract, the company will be responsible for designing, constructing, commissioning and delivering the plant. The plant will process almost 30k cubic meters of water a day, and is expected to come online in 1Q 2024.

REFRESHER- SOPC launched an international tender for the water treatment plant in 2021, almost a year after it secured a USD 200 mn loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance its energy efficiency investments.

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