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Egypt to sign electricity swap deal with Saudi Arabia to deal with summer demand

PM Kamal El-Ganzouri to conclude electricity swap deal with Saudi Arabia in effort to combat soaring energy demand during blistering summer

Ahram Online, Sunday 22 Jul 2012
Egypt
New power stations may ease suffering during hot summer (Photo: Ahram file)
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Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri's government has announced a series of measures to combat the country's electricity shortage.

Energy demand during peak times is around 3000 megawatts more that can be comfortably supplied and the additional demand is forcing up the cost of production, according to Minister of Energy Hassan Younis.

Power cuts have occurred with increasing regularity as soaring temperatures force Egyptians to use fans and air conditioning.

There is a planned electricity swap deal with Saudi Arabia, whereby each country will borrow from the other during hours of peak demand, Younis added.

New power stations will soon be opened according to an official at the energy ministry.

A new power station at Damietta (around 300 km north of Cairo) and another at Abu Kier in Alexandria governorate have received investment worth LE12 billion and will generate an additional 1800 megawatts of energy.

The hot summer weather could cause the national electricity grid to lose up to 12 to 15 per cent of its capacity and lead to an electricity crisis, an official source at the Egypt Electric Holding Company (EEHC) said on Wednesday

The government's plan also includes energy conservation through energy-saving lamps to replace wasteful incandescent ones.

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