Load shedding system back to scheduled two-hour cuts across Egypt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Jun 2024

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced on Wednesday that the one-day extra hour of power cut nationwide has ended -- as planned -- noting that the load-shedding system will return to its previous schedule of up to two-hour cuts.

File Photo: The sun sets behind high-voltage transmission towers in Egypt s Qalyubia governorate of
File Photo: The sun sets behind high-voltage transmission towers in Egypt s Qalyubia governorate of the Nile Delta. AFP


In a joint statement, both ministries pointed out that the hour added to the rolling power cuts across Egypt was observed only on Tuesday amid the increasing usage average of electricity due to the rising temperatures.

According to the statement, Tuesday’s extra hour was needed to allow for preventive maintenance of parts of the regional gas and electricity grids and to maintain the operational efficiency of the national electricity transmission and natural gas networks.

Late in May, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly directed the ministers of electricity and petroleum to develop a plan to stop the load-shedding power cuts no later than November or December 2024.

Madbouly also noted that this would require resources to obtain sufficient petroleum.

The premier also assigned the Electricity Minister to prepare a four-year plan to gradually adjust electricity prices, while ensuring subsidies to lower-income households.

However, he emphasised that the state cannot indefinitely sustain the increasing costs of such subsidies.

Scheduled power cuts resumed in April after a brief pause for the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr vacation.

The load-shedding programme began in July 2023 to ease the growing strain on the country's gas network caused by rising temperatures and increased air conditioning usage.

In October 2023, the Egyptian government extended the duration of the daily power cuts, driven by increasing temperatures and a decline in gas imports.

In January 2024, the cabinet announced it would restrict power cuts to morning hours during the mid-year exams season for the benefit of students.

According to the circulated schedules, the power cuts last one to two hours and are implemented between 11 am and 5 pm.

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