Electricity cables placed over towers at an electricity transmission grid. Source: Ahram Arabic website.
Hamza made the remarks in a phone-in with DMC TV satellite channel, where he said that mega power plants have been established and are contributing to generating this extra electricity. These plants are the Burullus Power Plant, the Beni Suef Power Plant and the New Capital Power Plant.
The three giant power plants, which started operation in 2018, generate a total capacity of 14,400 MW.
The Beni Suef Power Plant operates with the h-class combined power generation cycle technology and is based on natural gas with a capacity of 4,800 MW, according to the Egyptian presidency’s website.
The Burullus Power Plant, which is considered as one of the largest plants for electricity production in the world, has a capacity of about 4,800 MW.
The New Capital Power Plant cost 2 billion euros under an agreement between the government and German company Siemens, with a total capacity of 4,800 MW, according to the Egyptian presidency.
Egypt has achieved self-sufficiency in electricity since June 2015, and, morevover, now enjoys an electricity surplus of more than 25 percent, according to the spokesperson.
In the years before 2015, the country suffered from regular power outages, especially during the summer months.
Hamza said that "what has been achieved recently in the electricity sector was a turning point from a 'period of darkness', where there was an inability to meet local demand, but, now, we have a surplus in energy."
In early August, Egypt launched a plan to reduce local power consumption by cutting the amount of natural gas used in generating electricity in order to direct the savings for export in order to increase levels of foreign currency.
This would generate $450 million per month - $4.5 billion per year - according to government estimates.
The government plans to use more mazut and diesel fuel to achieve natural gas savings.
Egypt has achieved self-sufficiency in natural gas since 2018. Now, 60 percent of natural gas production is being used in electricity generation, according to Hamza.
In line with the Egypt’s vision 2030, the country aims to generate 20 percent of electricity in 2022 from renewable energy sources, with the goal of increasing this figure to 42 percent by 2035.
Hamza noted that Egypt’s electricity grid has played a vital role in supplying energy to neighbouring countries such as Lebanon via Jordan, Libya and Sudan,
He added that the ministry is currently working to increase production capacities.
Hamza cited an electricity interconnection project currently being implemented between Egypt and Saudi Arabia to exchange 3,000 M as one of the largest interconnection lines in the region.
He also noted that Egypt is undertaking important steps to link electricity between the country and Europe through the Egypt-Greece power linkage project.