After power cuts, Egypt govt calls on citizens to ration electricity

Ahram Online, Tuesday 21 May 2013

Egyptian government urges citizenry to cut down on summertime use of electricity in hopes of reducing need for periodic power outages

Egypt's electricity ministry on Tuesday apologised for a recent spate of nationwide power cuts, which the ministry attributed to ongoing fuel shortages.

In an official statement, the ministry ascribed recent power outages to "fuel shortages that have made it difficult for allocated generators to keep up with mounting consumption."

Egypt has around 220 electricity generators nationwide, which consume roughly 100 million cubic metres of fuel on a daily basis, according to a recent statement by Electricity Minister Ahmed Emam.

Egypt's state-run National Energy Control Centre, the statement explained, "has been forced to reduce pressure on the national electricity grid, and therefore calls on the citizenry to ration their use of electricity, especially the use of air conditioners and heaters."

Egypt’s national electricity consumption this summer is expected to rise to 29,500 megawatts per day, while the total daily capacity for electricity production currently stands at some 27,000 megawatts.

The statement further stressed that both the ministries of electricity and petroleum were exerting the "necessary efforts" to secure needed fuel.

Egyptians have recently suffered intermittent blackouts during the day, the result of an electricity ministry plan to conserve power during Egypt's hottest months from May to August.

The government is also betting that rising household electricity costs will serve to reduce consumption.

Electricity consumption in Egypt usually surges during the summer, exacerbated both by the hot weather and the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which this year will fall in July.

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