Egypt sees blackouts due to hot weather

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Aug 2013

Fuel quantities in power units supplied by petroleum ministry are not enough to maintain capacity, Egypt's electricity ministry spokesperson says

After being stable for nearly month, Egypt sees blackouts due to hot weather
Blackout remain sweeping Egyptian provinces (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt is likely to see some blackouts again as the peak load of the electrical grid nationwide recorded 26,100 megawatts on Monday, which surpassed the daily capacity of the network, the electricity ministry stated on Tuesday, citing the National Energy Control Centre (NECC).

Fuel quantities in the power units that are supplied by the petroleum ministry are not enough. Meanwhile, the NECC had to cut off the power in several areas to save energy and maintain the grid nationwide, spokesman of electricity ministry, Aktham Abu El-Ela, told Ahram Online on Tuesday.

The ministry has attributed the swollen load to the high temperatures that Egypt has experienced over the last two days and expected to remain until Tuesday.

Egypt has received six shipments of fuel from the United Arab Emirates as part of the Gulf state’s promised aid following the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

The government received last week the first of five free liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments pledged by Qatar in June under the previous government. The shipment reportedly stands at 70 million cubic feet.

"The Qatari natural gas that is going directly to the petroleum foreign partner of Egypt is due to the swap deal under which Egypt will buy the share of foreign companies in locally extracted LNG. The foreign companies will then take the LNG being imported from Qatar," explained Abu El-Ela.

In a similar context, Kuwait has delivered crude oil and diesel worth $200 million to Egypt as part of a $4 billion aid package to bolster the faltering economy.

In early July, the electricity ministry announced Egypt's power grid enjoyed a 300-megawatt power surplus over the past week due to energy-saving measures by the public. Accordingly the amount of natural gas used to produce electricity at the nation's power stations had been reduced by 10 percent to a current 79 million cubic metres per day. 

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