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Egypt plans to invest $14.5 billion in developing its refining and petrochemicals sectors over the next five years, its oil minister said, as part of efforts to overcome an energy crisis that has led to near-daily power cuts and hit company profits.Sherif Ismail told Reuters in an interview that Egypt was trying to boost its output of refined oil products by 5-10 percent each year, hoping to reduce its dependence on costly imports.Egypt has struggled to curb its swelling budget deficit whilst meeting soaring energy demands, resulting in daily electricity cuts around the country of 86 million people.Ismail said Egypt was hoping to produce 5.4 billion cubic feet per day of gas and 695,000 barrels per day of oil and condensates in the current 2014-15 financial year, and to import about 6.5 million tonnes of gas and petroleum products annually.Egypt currently produces about 8 million tons of diesel a year.Egypt has other projects under way aimed at boosting gasoline production, he added.
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