Egypt to raise electricity prices for Gaza

Waad Ahmed , Thursday 16 Jul 2015

The move is part of efforts to reduce Egypt's subsidies bill and address a ballooning budget deficit

Gaza power plant
Gaza Power Plant (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's cabinet approved Wednesday to raise electricity prices for Gaza as part of its five-year plan to gradually reduce subsidies.

Egypt currently exports around 30 megawatts of electricity to Gaza at a price of LE0.45 per kilowatt per hour, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Electricity, Mohamed El-Yamany, told Ahram Online.

Neither the spokesperson for the cabinet nor that for the Ministry of Electricity could announce the exact value of the price hike at the time of speaking to Ahram Online Thursday.

In July 2014, the government began the implementation of the first stage of a five-year plan to lower electricity subsidies by 67 percent to LE9 billion, from LE27.4 billion allocated in fiscal year 2014/15.

The move is part of a fiscal reform programme aimed at cutting a ballooning budget deficit by reducing energy subsidies and introducing new taxes.

Gaza has been in an electricity crisis since an Israeli airstrike targeted its only power plant in 2006, a crisis that continues to date as the plant currently operates at only half capacity, according to a UN report published this month by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Total demand for electricity in the Palestinian Gaza Strip is estimated at around 470 megawatts, of which less than 45 percent is met, according to the report.

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