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Egypt’s central bank on Sunday launched a 15 billion pound ($948.8m) initiative to help car owners convert their vehicles to natural gas, pushing ahead with a call by the country’s president earlier last year.

The loans, with an interest rate of 3%, will be provided through banks to individuals seeking to replace their gasoline-powered vehicles to a bi-fuel system that also allows the use on natural gas, it said in a statement. The financing is available for periods between seven to 10 years.

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The move is part of a broader push by the government to encourage the conversion of as many as 1.3 million private cars.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi last year said the country will require new cars to operate on natural gas before they receive a license, stressing the move will help reduce middle-income families’ fuel bills by half.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.