OPEC to help finance new power station in Egypt: Minister

Ahram Online, Sunday 29 Sep 2013

The plant is expected to produce 1950 megawatts of electricity starting in 2017

Ahmed Emam
Minister of Electricity and Energy Ahmed Emam (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The OPEC Fund for International Development has agreed to give Egypt a $70 million (LE482.7 million) loan to finance a power station in South Helwan, Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Energy Ahmed Emam announced in a statement on Sunday.

The power station, which is expected to produce 1,950 megawatts of electricity, is due to start operations at the site near Cairo in 2017.

Several international financial institutions are contributing to the financing of the plant, the total cost of which is LE14 billion ($2.02 billion), including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

The state-owned Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company will also participate in the financing of the power station, according to the ministry statement.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will contribute $403 million (LE2.7 billion) and the Islamic Development Bank $450 million (LE3.1 billion), state-owned Middle East News Agency reported on Friday.

The project is part of a five-year-plan to reinforce the universal electricity grid, so as to overcome the heightened load on the grid, which has led to increasingly frequent power cuts.

Blackouts have been a persistent phenomenon in Egypt in the past two years, especially in the summer.

Deposed president Mohamed Morsi attributed the blackouts to sabotage by remnants of the previous regime in his penultimate public speech, days before being deposed in June.

Since Morsi's ouster, the electricity ministry has blamed the persistence of power cuts to high temperatures and fuel shortages.

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