File Photo: Electric pylons (Photo: Reuters)
An Egyptian power plant, run by natural gas and mazut, will start the production of 650 MegaWatts of electricity on Thursday, announced electricity minister, Mohamed Shaker in a press release.
The additional production will contribute to the reduction of Egypt’s power generation gap, an issue the Egyptian government will have to solve if it is to achieve its economic development plans.
The Ain Sokhna plant cost LE9.1 billion to build and was funded by the Arab fund for economic and social development, the Kuwait fund for economic development, the African Development bank, and the World Bank along with the National Bank of Egypt.
Shaker also announced on Wednesday plans to establish another natural gas run power plant in Kafr El-Sheikh in collaboration with Cairo-based Benchmark Power International to generate 2,300 MegaWatts.
Electricity generation is the prime consumer of natural gas in Egypt, accounting for 67 percent of domestic consumption in August and 60 percent in 2012, according to official figures.
Egypt has been suffering from an energy crisis over the past three years on the back of lower production of natural gas and an outdated national grid.
In September, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi estimated that Egypt needs 2,500 Megawatts annually for the upcoming five years to meet rising demand, at a cost of $2.5 billion a year.
The government also announced feed-in tariffs for renewable energy in a move that aims to attract private businesses to invest in the sector and increase the country's sources of electricity generation.