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Egypt's cabinet approves two Chinese deals for coal-fired power plants

Ahram Online , Wednesday 6 Jan 2016
Egypt Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (AP)
Egypt Prime Minister Sherif Ismail (AP)
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Egypt's cabinet approved two conditional deals with Chinese companies to build coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 6,600 megawatts, according to a cabinet statement released on Wednesday.

Dongfang Electric Corporation plans to build six units to produce 660 megawatts each. The first phase of the power plant will begin with three units at a combined capacity of 1,980 megawatts for a cost of almost $2 billion.

Shanghi Electric will construct four units at a combined capacity of 2,640 megawatts for a cost of $2.24 billion for the foreign components and LE3.1 billion for the domestic components.

The projects will be financed through Chinese banks, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity, Mohamed El-Yammany, told Ahram Online without specifying details.

"The deals are not final yet, they remain conditional upon the results of negotiations on the finances and tariffs," he said.

The plants will be built in the Hamrawein area in the Red Sea governorate east of the country, he added.

The government signed a memorandum of understanding with the two companies for the projects in March 2015 during the Sharm El-Sheikh Economic Development Conference.

The use of coal for power generation was approved by Egypt in 2014 as the country faced a shortage of natural gas, raising controversy on its environmental impacts.

Egypt has turned into a net importer of natural gas from a net exporter in the past few years on the back of rising consumption and falling production.

The country has been experiencing an energy crunch since the summer of 2008, taking a further blow following the 2011 uprising.

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NewEgypt123
06-01-2016 10:15pm
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Egypt deserves better
Egypt deserves better than coal plants. Egypt should demand that any power generating plants be of the most technologically advanced type available. I know it seems like Egypt has no right to make demands in its current state, but this is further from the truth. Although Egypt has fallen on hard times, we must remember that Egypt is a huge customer at a time when global demand is falling across the board. As much as Egypt is starved for power, Egypt needs to remember that other nations are starved for new business just as much if not more. Egypt needs to leverage this to its advantage to demand efficient, technologically advanced, and clean energy production.
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NewEgypt123
06-01-2016 10:15pm
0-
1+
Egypt deserves better
Egypt deserves better than coal plants. Egypt should demand that any power generating plants be of the most technologically advanced type available. I know it seems like Egypt has no right to make demands in its current state, but this is further from the truth. Although Egypt has fallen on hard times, we must remember that Egypt is a huge customer at a time when global demand is falling across the board. As much as Egypt is starved for power, Egypt needs to remember that other nations are starved for new business just as much if not more. Egypt needs to leverage this to its advantage to demand efficient, technologically advanced, and clean energy production.
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Sam Enslow
06-01-2016 07:38pm
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Threatening heritage for short term gains
Solar power plants are being/have been installed with great assistance from the Italians. Extra electricity can be had from the High Dam if the silt accumulation on the south side was dredged. Why endanger Egypt's rich archaeological heritage with coal, especially at a time other countries are closing coal power plants? Travel to Europe and see the damage. Nuclear? Germany, Switzerland, and other countries are closing their plants because they are too dangerous. Look what happened in Japan and Ukraine. They always say nothing bad can happen until it does.
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Tut
08-01-2016 02:54pm
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Correction, ayman
These countries you mention have vast reserves of coal under their ground, that's why they used it, and they're moving away from it. Egypt does NOT have coal, and it would cost much more as they import it!
ayman
07-01-2016 08:27am
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widely used
No one is moving away from coal, it remains one of the main sources of fuel for base load electricity generation in many countries, along with nuclear, due to it being one of the cheapest. Renewables still have low efficiency to be used as base load sources. For example, electricity generation from coal as a percent of total: China (76%), India (71%), Germany (47%), US (40%) and many others. Search for coal usage by country and clean coal. It is a travesty that we, as a poor country, are burning precious natural gas to generate electricity instead of turning it to chemicals, fertilizers and plastics while the rich countries are doing the exact opposite !
Simon
07-01-2016 01:19am
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Unrealistic ...
I often agree with Sam and Tut, but on this one they are unrealistic. Solar costs over $.10 kWh and coal costs less than half. Egyptian people can't afford solar and Egyptian government can't afford the subsidy either. Solar is great but too expensive for Egypt.
Tut
06-01-2016 09:30pm
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Falling on deaf ears
The whole world is moving away from coal, even when they have massive reserves in-house; Egypt goes out of its way to import both coal and coal power plants. 20 years from now, dirty coal smog will color the pyramids and all other monuments black rendering Egyptian tourism dead forever !
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