Egypt’s Sisi discusses major new energy projects with acting PM, energy minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 30 Dec 2017

The president reviewed developments in the Dabaa nuclear power plant, electrical grids connecting Egypt to various neighbors, and plans for production of renewable solar energy

Egypt President El-Sisi during his meeting with acting Prime Minister Mostapha Madbouly and Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker (Ahram)

During a meeting on Saturday, Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi instructed acting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker to continue efforts to update the country’s electricity sector in accordance with the set timeframe, and to improve the service, a presidency spokesman said.

El-Sisi also instructed the two officials to speed up the completion of key studies on electricity interconnection plans and projects with neighboring countries, stressing the need to continiue the government's focus on combining urban development with the maintenance of safety standards in the process.

Egypt has been heavily investing in its electric power infrastructure in the past three years to overcome acute shortages.

During the meeting, acting PM Madbouly presented the latest developments in the start of the executive steps to construct the Dabaa nuclear plant, presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said.

The Dabaa nuclear power plant will produce 1,200 MW from each of its four reactors and has a 60-year operational lifetime.

Electricity Minister Shaker reiterated his ministry’s target to increase Egypt’s percentage of new and renewable energy to 20% by 2022.

Shaker has also highlighted the latest developments regarding cooperation with the Italian company ENI to establish a factory of high-power convertors, and establishing Benban solar power plants, as well as a new power plant in the new administrative capital.

The minister has previously said that the Benban solar power complex is set to produce 2,000 MW, the largest amount of solar energy produced from any location.

The plant set for the new administrative capital is expected to be connected to the unified electricity network by mid 2018, to be able to generate 4800 megawatt and include 8000 workers.

The German Giant Siemens has been constructing three major natural gas-fired power plants, including one in the new administrative capital, as part of an 8 billion euro deal signed with Egypt in 2015.

The meeting also tackled ongoing energy interconnection projects between Egypt and its neighbors, such as the electricity grid with Saudi Arabia; two similar projects with Jordan and Libya, as well as clean energy projects with Cyprus and Greece.

The Egypt-Saudi grid, which is expected to operate by 2021, is set to transmit at a capacity of 3000 megawatt in a total investment cost of $1.56 billion.

A memorandum of understanding has also been signed for electricity interconnection between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, for a 3000 MW capacity line.

Shaker has also pointed to the ministry’s steps to transform the electricity pressure towers above buildings into land cables in an effort to ensuring the safety of citizens, as well as improving the service.

The recent projects to develop Egypt’s electricity grid have cost the government EGP 483 billion, Shaker had said in November.

The figure does not include the cost of a nuclear power plant Egypt is preparing to build in Dabaa.

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