CAIRO – 27 December 2021: While inaugurating a number of electricity projects Monday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi noted that "there is a global orientation toward electricity linkage, so if we don’t catch up, we would be missing such advancement.”
Commenting on the milestones Egypt achieved on the front of eliminating electricity outage that was frequent prior to 2014, the president underlined that it "wasn’t the result of just a shortage in power generation but also problems with transmission and distribution."
"Some other countries have failed to resolve electricity shortage crises for more than 15 years, but here in Egypt, we [the government] couldn’t tolerate that because we thought that such problem would have a negative impact on national security," the president added.
Tackling subsidies, the Egyptian president addressed the public saying, “which is better? Giving you LE100-150? Or, building such projects [infrastructure & utilities]?”
Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker presented what has been accomplished in the sector over the past seven years during the ceremony held in Aswan for the president to inaugurate projects via videoconference.
The minister pointed out that prior to 2014, 30 percent of power plants were outdated. He added that an emergency plan was set at the time to add 3,626 megawatts to the grid.
Minister Shaker elaborated that LE27 billion ($1.9 billion) were spent on switching power plants from simple cycle gas to combined cycle raising their production from around 4,000 megawatts to over 14,000 megawatts.
The total costs of electricity projects over the past seven years are LE55 billion ($3.4 billion). That is in addition to the €6 billion spent on three Siemens giant combined cycle plants as the capacity of each is 1,400 megawatts.
The amount of megawatts added to the Egyptian grid since 2014 is 14 times those produced by Aswan High Dam (2,100 megawatts), the electricity minister stated, underlining that Egypt’s carbon emissions declined by 26.2 percent in FY2020/2021 compared to FY2014/2015.
Further, over 4,125 kilometers of overhead power lines were added, Egypt’s electricity minister underscored. He also highlighted that the construction of a national electricity control center in the New Administrative Capital began in 2020 and is expected to conclude in 24 months.
The minister declared that the cost of the project is LE48 billion ($3 billion), and that it is executed by Siemens and Hassan Allam.
In that field, Schneider Electric is implementing 14 electricity control centers, General Electric is executing one, and El Swedy Electric is completing three that are financed by JICA.
Minister Shaker said that, in the future, Egyptian companies would be implementing electricity projects with international firms being the subcontractors.
With regard to electricity linkage, Egypt shares 100 megawatts with Libya through electricity linkage, and that the country can exchange 2,000 megawatts through linkage with Cyprus and Greece.
As for renewable energy, the potential of renewable energy in Egypt is 90,000 megawatts, and that 70 percent of renewable energy generated in the country (6,120 megawatts) stems from Upper Egypt.
In another context, the minister of electricity showcased that 100 percent of smart meters being introduced in Egypt are locally-made. Similarly, the president urged substituting pre-paid meters for regular ones as many citizens complain that readings are not accurate.
President Sisi inaugurated via videoconference a combined cycle power plant in Asyut; electricity control centers in Menya's Samalout, and Qena's Nagaa Hamadi; and, a transmission station in Luxor's Esna. He later visited Benban Solar Park, the largest in Africa and the Middle East.
It is noted that LE150 ($9.4 billion) were spent on electricity facilities in Upper Egypt out of LE1.1 trillion ($68.75 billion) directed at infrastructure, utilities and public services in those governorates.