'Busy' schedule for Sisi in Germany: Presidency
Ahram Online, Miro Guzzini, , Wednesday 3 Jun 2015
El-Sisi arrived in Berlin on Tuesday for a two-day visit

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has a “busy” schedule during his two-day visit to Germany, a presidential statement said on Tuesday.

El-Sisi is expected to meet with German President Joachim Gauck and then Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, to discuss bilateral relations and recent developments in the Middle East.

In addition, El-Sisi will attend the Egyptian-German Economic Forum where he is expected to give a speech during the closing session.

El-Sisi is also set for meetings with several officials, including the German foreign minister.

Upon El-Sisi’s arrival to Berlin, dozens of pro-Sisi Egyptians were seen in footage shown on Egyptian state television, holding Egyptian and German flags and chanting in support of the president.

Merkel officially invited the president to visit Germany in February.

Siemens deal

Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said a deal will be signed Wednesday with German electronics giant Siemens to build three power plants in Egypt, in the towns of Beni Suef, El-Berolous, and in the anticipated new administrative capital near Suez.

State news agency MENA reported that the new plants are expected to have a capacity of 14,400 megawatts, with a launching date in 2017.

Egypt has been facing an electricity crisis nationwide with summers usually witnessing frequent blackouts – a problem El-Sisi had said requires major investment to develop the rundown network.

El-Sisi will also sign a deal with Siemens to build a factory in Egypt to manufacture rotor blades for wind turbines, expected to create up to 1,000 jobs.

President El-Sisi's trip to Germany has the potential of being very lucrative for both sides arguesHandelsblatt,a major German financial newspaper, citing the finalisation of the massive contract with Siemens, which is worth 10 billion euros (about LE 84 billion).

As well as power stations, the contract will provide for the creation of wind energy parks and the planning of electrical distribution stations to tackle Egypt's energy shortages.

Handelsblatt estimated that these projects will create excellent business opportunities for other German companies specialised in power plant technologies, technical maintenance and also companies with the ability to support Egypt's transition from diesel to coal as its fuel for electricity production. Any company specialising in infrastructure is also likely to make profits, the paper suggests.

Aside from greatly strengthening Egypt's electrical energy production and infrastructure, the importance of this deal for Germany should thus not be underestimated.

"President El-Sisi was only invited by Chancellor Merkel when it became clear that this was the only way to land the deal with Siemens," Martin Brüggmann writes for Handelsblatt.

The financial paper assesses that the payments from the Egyptian side will come mainly from Saudi and Emirati aid, whose generous contributions are seen as crucial in financing the major projects planned by President El-Sisi. The paper did not give any specific figures, however.