Egypt has spent EGP 515 billion since 2014 to develop national electricity grid: Minister

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Jul 2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi gives a speech during the inauguration of three large power plants as well as other projects in the energy sector, on the outskirts of the capital Cairo on July 24, 2018 AFP

Egypt has spent EGP 515 billion since mid-2014 to develop the country's national electricity grid, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said on Tuesday.

As a result, Egypt increased its power capacity by 84 percent in the period from June 2014 to June 2018, adding around 25,000 megawatts (MW) to the national grid to reach 55,000 MW and resulting in a 25 percent surplus, the head of the Administrative Control Authority Mohamed Erfan said on Tuesday.

Shaker said that EGP 433.5 billion of the total amount invested has been allocated to projects to boost Egypt's electricity generation, while the rest was spent on upgrading the country's power transport and distribution capacities.

The minister was speaking during a televised ceremony to inaugurate major electricity projects, which was attended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Among the projects inaugurated by El-Sisi on Tuesday were three 6-billion euro gas-fired combined cycle power plants with a total power generation capacity of 14,400 megawatts (MW) - or 14.4 gigawatts (GW) - built by Siemens, boosting the country’s electricity generation by 50 percent.

Siemens said on Tuesday this provides "enough power to supply up to 40 million people with reliable electricity."

The first phase of the megaproject, which the German company says are “the world's largest combined cycle power plants”, was inaugurated in March 2017.

The stations are located in the New Administrative Capital, in the town of Burullus in Kafr El-Sheikh, and in Beni Suef governorate, and each has a capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

El-Sisi and Siemens said the megaproject has set a new world record for execution of power projects, by delivering 14.4 GW of power in 27.5 months.

"A single combined cycle power plant block with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts typically takes approximately 30 months for construction," Siemens said on its official website on Tuesday.

At an impromptu speech at the ceremony, El-Sisi hailed what his government has achieved in the electricity sector over the past four years as "beyond imagination," adding that Egypt's plan to develop the electricity grid would be sufficient for over a decade.

El-Sisi referred to the country's energy crisis a few years ago, when there were recurrent power cuts, saying it was crucial to develop the ageing state-run infrastructure to handle rapidly growing demand for electricity in a country of more than 97 million people.

"We do not look for half solutions, we work towards decisive solutions," he said.

"What we are doing will satisfy Egypt for 10, 15 years and we won't face any other [crisis]," El-Sisi added.

Projects El-Sisi inaugurated on Tuesday also include a number of power transport lines in a number of governorates, as well as a wind power plants in Gabal El-Zeit area in the Red Sea governorate, which El-Sisi's office described in a statement as "the biggest of its kind in the world."

Egypt aims to meet 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022. 

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