Egypt's electricity output might decrease from 17 to 27 April: Petroleum ministry

Ahram Online, Monday 14 Apr 2014

Ministry says it will try to make sure output is not affected, as rolling blackouts have caused officials to ask Egyptians to cut down on power consumption during peak hours

electricity black outs
File Photo: Mostafa Khaled, 20, studies by candlelight for his early morning exams during a power cut in Toukh, El-Kalubia governorate, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Cairo May 26, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's electricity output might be decreased from 17 to 27 April, the petroleum ministry announced at a meeting with the electricity ministry, Al-Ahram's Arabic website has reported.

The decrease is a result of construction work to link a new gas field in the Western Desert to the country's natural gas network in order to increase the production of natural gas.

The construction would stop the production of natural gas in some places for 10 days, decreasing the natural gas produced by 5 percent.

The petroleum ministry said it would do its best to ensure that electricity production is not affected.

The government-owned Egyptian Electric Holding Company, responsible for electricity distribution across Egypt, has called on Egyptians to ration their electricity consumption during daily peak hours from 6pm to 10pm.

Power cuts have become more frequent since August 2008, but were mostly limited to summer. They then began to spread to winter as well in December 2012.

Earlier in April, Egypt's interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab called for an emergency meeting to discuss the increase in power cuts that began nationwide in mid-March.  

At the time, he assured that the power cuts would decrease and urged those involved to hasten the completion of new electricity power plants so they would be ready for operation by June instead of August. The new power plants are expected to provide an additional 2,400 megawatts once in operation.

Planning minister Ashraf El-Arabi said earlier that Egypt plans to boost electricity prices for the richest 20 percent of its citizens before the presidential elections at the end of May, as the country has "no time to waste" in starting much needed economic reforms, namely in terms of rolling back energy subsidies.

He said the decision on raising gasoline prices will be taken "very soon," but declined to provide further details, Reuters reported.

Energy shortages contributed to the 30 June protests that eventually led to the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.


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